Earlier this month, we celebrated Independence Day, marking 239 years since our nation’s founding. John Adams believed it would “be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival.” He has undoubtedly been proven right. I hope you were able to enjoy the day with friends and family.
I was able to take part in parades in Highlands and Redlands - great turnouts all around! Our office also hosted a Veterans Pancake Breakfast for our men and women in uniform and their families later in the month. I’m looking forward to spending even more time around our district as the summer goes on.
As we take advantage of the warmer weather this season, however, we’ve also been reminded of just how easily wildfires can spring up due to the dry conditions and our responsibility to prevent them. I want to thank all the first responders, fire crews, and local agencies for their work in fighting the Lake Fire, North Fire, Pine Fire, and other flare-ups. We’re fortunate to have them protecting our communities.
Back in Sacramento, the month was taken up mostly with committee hearings as we work toward the September deadline to pass legislation to the governor for his consideration. I am glad to report that two of my bills have already been signed into law. The first, SB 363, makes adjustments to the law regarding lines of credit, known as “book accounts,” offered by small businesses. The second, SB 785, will help in the process of administering estates and cut down on litigation.
I have also introduced a resolution which would urge Congress to pass legislation that would inhibit the ability of sanctuary cities to harbor deported criminals, in order to protect our communities. You can read more about it in the “In Case You Missed It” section of this newsletter.
Things will start ramping up again in mid-August when legislators return to the Capitol after spending some extended time in our districts. I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on.
As always, it is a privilege to represent you in the State Legislature.
Fourth of July. What’s Independence Day without a parade? This year I had the privilege of participating in celebrations in Redlands and Highland. Pictured above is our office’s contingent in the Redlands 4th of July Parade.
Military Family Pancake Breakfast. It was a privilege to thank veterans, active duty personnel, and their families for their service to our country at our pancake breakfast in Redlands. Great turnout, even with the rain!
Facebook Small Business Boost seminar. The Facebook event in Redlands was a huge success! Facebook’s Associate Manager of Small Business Outreach Juan Salazar (left) and the Facebook team shared tips and best practices to help businesses maximize their presence on the site. Many thanks to Juan and the Redlands Chamber of Commerce for hosting!
Tour of Learn4Life Charter School. I had the pleasure of touring Highland’s Learn4Life Charter School. It’s great to see such a wonderful program changing the lives of so many students. Pictured with me (from left to right) are staff Chris Hodges, Ann Abajian, and Heather Barnhart. Our field representative David Matza is in the red shirt.
Highland Kiwanis Anniversary. Team Morrell was on hand to help celebrate Highland Kiwanis’s 21st anniversary this month. Congratulations on reaching this milestone! Pictured in the center is President Tony Mauricio and the morning’s guest speaker, San Bernardino City Unified School District Board Member Margaret Hill. David Matza (far right) presented a certificate on behalf of our office along with Socorro Pantaleon (far left) from Assemblyman Marc Steinorth’s office.
At the beginning of July, 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle was tragically killed in San Francisco after allegedly being shot by a convicted felon who had previously been deported five times. This event has stirred a needed national conversation on sanctuary cities. The most important responsibility of every elected official at every level of government is the public’s safety. Clearly, there was a breakdown in this situation. In response, I have joined with several of my Republican colleagues to introduce Senate Joint Resolution 17. You can read more about our effort in my recent op-ed here.
The record-setting 2015-16 state budget crafted by the governor and legislative Democrats spends nearly $266 billion. While education receives more funding and debt is also reduced, there were many things prioritized, such as high-speed rail and cell phone plans with unlimited texts and data, which made it unsupportable for me. You can read my full op-ed in the Press-Enterprise here.
This month, the Senate held its first informational hearing of the Special Session on Public Health and Developmental Services. You can find my opening remarks here.
Rather than fund these programs outright in the budget, the governor and legislative Democrats are attempting to use special sessions – meetings of the legislature on specific topics – to increase taxes. My Republican colleagues and I continue to believe that the services, which help some of the most vulnerable Californians, can and should be paid for without having to ask taxpayers for more money. We have introduced two bills to help reach this goal.
The first measure, SBx2 4, would require new revenues to increase reimbursement rates for developmental disability services while restoring the remaining 10% reductions to Medi-Cal reimbursement rates.
On July 2nd, the Governor signed into law my bill, SB 785, to provide needed clarification for those involved in the administration of an estate. The changes will prevent confusion and unnecessary litigation. The full press release can be read here.
Are you involved with a nonprofit or thinking of starting your own? You can attend a free Nonprofit Workshop in Beaumont on July 30 to learn the rules of the road. I’m proud to partner with Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey, Assemblyman Chad Mayes, and the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce to bring this event to our area.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (check-in begins at 10)
Beaumont City Hall
550 E. 6th Street
Beaumont, CA 92223
This September, I will again partner with Building Resilient Communities at the 3rd Annual Ark of Safety Forum. The event is an opportunity for community and faith-based leaders across San Bernardino and Riverside counties to join in discussions on how to best prepare for a crisis. Experts will provide resources for individuals and houses of worship and lead discussions on your role in the community during a disaster. To see highlights from last year’s forum in San Jacinto, click here.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
7576 Etiwanda Avenue
Etiwanda, CA 91739
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the District Office at (909) 919-7731 or visit senatormikemorrell23.eventbrite.com.
Recently, I joined our community in recognizing Redlands resident Martha Canaday as a Patriot of the Past in the Public Safety category at this year’s Patriots of the Past, Present, and Future. During World War II, Martha served with the Army Nurse Corps in the South Pacific, and was stationed on Tinian Isle just before and after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
She continued her nursing career in pediatrics and trauma at St. Bernardine’s Hospital in San Bernardino for over 40 years. Martha also volunteered for over two decades as camp nurse for youth camps associated with the United Methodist Church.
Into the 1950s, Martha worked on an innovative therapeutic massage treatment for victims of polio, which she thereafter had to use to successfully treat her daughter Barbara. She has since followed her mother’s career path to become a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner at Loma Linda University Medical Center.
Please join me in thanking Martha for her service!
College sophomore Candace Yamanishi interned in our office during the spring semester. She is a Redlands local who graduated from Loma Linda Academy in 2013 and now attends Loyola Marymount University majoring in Political Science with a minor in Ethics.
Her interest in political science was sparked during her congressional politics class - a mock simulation of the U.S. Senate. She played the role of a Republican Senator on the fiscal committee, responding to mock constituents and crafting bills on education, health care, and military resolutions. Candace credits the course with helping her to better understand the legislative process as well as providing her a hands-on experience of what it is like to be a U.S. Senator. She will be a teaching assistant for this course in the fall and will also begin a second internship with the Republican Party of Los Angeles County. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to go to law school.
Candace’s future aspirations include working to improve the education system in the U.S., advocating for human rights abroad, and assisting children around the world gain access to education. She would like to accomplish some of these goals through mission trips with her family.
In her spare time, Candace enjoys being in the outdoors, running, hiking, swimming, and relaxing at the beach with friends. She is currently training for her third half marathon, and hopes to complete a full marathon before she graduates.
Candace has enjoyed her time at the office - and we’ve been glad to have her! Of her experience, she says that she appreciated the opportunity to develop an understanding of local politics as well as deepen her appreciation of what it means to be committed to a limited government that adheres to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. She plans to promote those same ideals in her future endeavors.
Thanks for your hard work this year, Candace!
Our country was founded on democratic principles and certain self-evident truths, including a pursuit of happiness derived from an economy based on the will and hard work of the people.
In this video, economist Milton Friedman discusses the miracle of America and endurance of our nation’s industries, coupled with the ability of citizens to pursue their interests free of government interference.
Many different funding sources are used to calculate exactly how much money the state spends in a given year. The General Fund usually receives the most scrutiny because it is where the legislature and governor have the most discretion in how to spend it.
General Fund spending, however, is only a part of total state spending. Special funds, bond funds, and federal funds all bring total state spending for 2015-16 to about $265.6 billion. This amount is $71.3 billion higher than peak spending prior to the most recent economic downturn ($194.3 billion in 2007-08).
Despite the Great Recession, and the majority party’s claims of “cutting to the bone,” total state spending continues to exceed previous record high levels.
Interested in learning more about the budget? You can find the entire Senate Republican Caucus analysis here.
Southern California Edison (SCE) is raising awareness that imposters have been calling local businesses to demand immediate payment, threatening to shut off power if they don’t pay. SCE has reiterated that it will never call and demand payment.
To learn about the scam and how to protect against it you can click on this link: http://on.edison.com/1Gw3E6l.