Each year, I attempt to focus on pursuing legislation that increases opportunity and improves security so that every Californian has the opportunity to succeed.
As the 2018 legislative session closes out, here are some highlights of bills I have worked on this past year that made it to the Governor’s desk:
SB 1139 - Keeping New Homeowners from Debt
This bill prevents new homeowners from assuming debt that belonged to the previous homeowners by keeping in place improved processes for shutting down home equity lines of credit. These provisions help avoid time-consuming and costly litigation.
SB 1183 - Consumer Protection - Reverse Mortgages
This bill ensures consumers are not misled when they have to deal with an estate after a loved one has passed. Reverse mortgages are not assumable, but out of an abundance of caution, mortgage providers currently issue notices to surviving successors regarding the existence of the reverse mortgage, similar to other loans or mortgages. To avoid confusion, SB 1183 exempts reverse mortgages from being subject these notice requirements.
SB 1217 - Streamlining State Law
This measure cleans up relevant code sections pertaining to private investigators and the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, limiting confusion and allowing for these small businesses to better perform their functions and serve consumers.
SB 1431 - Reducing Confusion in Settlement Process
This bill clarifies the law for individuals who choose to represent themselves in legal settlement cases by including the terms “releasing party” and “released party” alongside “creditor” and “debtor” references in the relevant Civil Code section. The current language is understood by the legal community at large, but can be confusing to unrepresented or self-represented parties.
AB 403 - Whistleblower Protection for Legislative Employees (coauthor)
This bill provides legislative employees with the same protections other state workers already receive under the California Whistleblower Protection Act. It prohibits any legislator or legislative employee from intimidating a person into not reporting sexual harassment, sexual assault or other illegal, unethical, immoral or inappropriate behavior. It also prohibits retaliation against legislative employees who report misconduct.
SB 920 - Empowering Small Businesses to Succeed (coauthor)
This bill allows licensed engineers, land surveyors, and architects to continue forming limited liability partnerships (LLPs) so that they can remain financially and economically successful. These professions are critical to construction and building in California. Over the last decade, less than 80,000 new homes were built each year, falling behind the projected need of 180,000 new homes annually. The state should not stand in the way of industry working to help meet this threshold.
SB 1079 - Supporting Local Fire Prevention Efforts
This measure ensures CalFire grant funding gets to local Fire Safe councils, nonprofits, and other districts in a timely manner so that fire prevention efforts are not disrupted. Specifically, it allows for advance payments of grants, rather than solely reimbursements. The issue was brought to the attention of Senator Morrell by the Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council.
Last fall, I had the opportunity to work with the Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council based out of the Lake Arrowhead area to host our region’s inaugural First Responder Day at Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Running Springs.
This year, First Responder Day will be held down the hill at the home of the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes Minor League baseball team - LoanMart Field.
The event will be an opportunity to thank the men and women who keep us safe as well as learn more about the hard work they do.
For more information, please contact Rebecca Ann Fontaine at (916) 651-4023 or Rebecca.Fontaine@sen.ca.gov.
This September, my office will again partner with Building Resilient Communities to host the annual Ark of Safety Forum on emergency preparedness.
The free event is an opportunity for business, education, government, and faith-based leaders across the Inland Empire to join in discussions on how to best prepare for a crisis.
Planned presentations include:
- How to identify potential security threats
- Vital updated earthquake preparedness information
- Available resources and training through the Department of Homeland Security
Last year’s event had a waiting list - be sure to reserve your spot soon!
Thursday, September 27, 2018
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino
1201 East Highland Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92404
TO RSVP OR FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Each of us has encountered emergency or maintenance vehicles parked along the side of the road or highway.
In these situations, we have an obligation to pass by those scenes with caution and care. Too often, however, we hear stories of drivers distracted or who cut it close. They endanger - or even take - the lives of those out of their vehicles or simply waiting on the shoulder.
It may seem like common sense to pay attention and slow down, but it’s worth being reminded from time-to-time that it’s the law to “move over” or slow down.
If you visit another state, you will likely notice that prices on everyday items can appear less expensive than they are in California. However, it’s not just perception - it’s reality.
The nonpartisan Tax Foundation recently looked at data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis to measure the relative purchasing power of $100 in each state.
In California, $100 buys approximately $87 worth of goods when compared to the national average. In a neighboring state like Arizona, $100 buys $104 worth of goods.
While there are many factors at play, it is worth considering that California’s high taxes also impact how far your hard-earned money will go. Take gas and diesel taxes, for example. As those taxes go up, so does the cost of shipping, which is passed onto consumers. As mandates on employers rise, prices inevitably increase.
These numbers are a sobering reminder that too many feel priced out of living in our state - and that we need to roll back regulations and taxes to give ourselves a competitive edge and boost the confidence of business looking to locate or expand here.
In his early years, Benjamin Franklin developed a list of virtues by which he intended to build and develop his character. He later listed them out in his autobiography. Today, these timeless values still invite us to reflect and consider their potential application in our own lives:
- Temperance: Eat not to dullness. Drink not to elevation.
- Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
- Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
- Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
- Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e., Waste nothing.
- Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
- Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly.
- Justice: Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
- Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
- Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes, or habitation.
- Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
- Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring; never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
- Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.