Morrell Monthly: June 2019

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Mobile Office Hours

Members of my staff hold regular monthly office hours across the 23rd Senate District. If you have an issue or concern that you would like to share in person but can’t make it to our main office, please plan to stop by. You can view the entire schedule here.

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Licensing Fee Relief Following Disasters

Senator Morrell with Pastor Bob Scott on the Senate FloorSB 601 would provide small business owners recovering after disaster with financial relief from government licensing fees.

After passing the Senate, it continues to move through the Assembly, having most recently been approved by the Assembly Committee on Business and Professions.

For that hearing, I was grateful to have Paradise resident Bob Scott in Sacramento to offer his support and share his story with the committee. He and his family lost their home as well as an audio-recording business in last November’s Camp Fire.

A former firefighter, he also pastors a church in Oroville where a number of congregants were similarly impacted.

I recently authored an op-ed on this bill for the Redlands Community News. You can read it here.

For the fact sheet on SB 601, click here.

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Veterans Legislation Moving Ahead

Senator Morrell with Air Force veteran Clarence Douglas on the Senate Floor  Senator Morrell with J.R. Wilson of Delta Veterans Group and Army veteran Alex Jauregui.

Two bills I am authoring to provide financial relief to California’s disabled veterans both passed the State Senate in late May and are now moving through committees in the Assembly. Read more here.

SB 500 would increase higher education opportunities for this community by creating a program through the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) that extends housing and tuition assistance to disabled veterans pursuing graduate-level college degrees. In the photo at left, Air Force veteran Clarence Douglas came to the Capitol to testify in support, sharing his plans to pursue a master’s degree.

SB 562 would help disabled veterans keep up with California’s high cost of living by increasing the current basic property tax exemption for this group. In the photo at right, I am joined by J.R. Wilson, president of Delta Veterans Group and 11-year Army veteran Alex Jauregui, a recipient of a specially adapted home from the nonprofit Homes For Our Troops.

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SB 673: Transparency in Sex Education

Logo for website: Getting Educated on the Sex Ed DebateMany parents have expressed concern about the new controversial sex education curriculum being implemented in public schools.

We have heard that it has been challenging to get information on lesson plans and other materials from local school districts and that the Department of Education website can seem difficult to navigate.

My staff and I have done our best to put together a website that contains information on curricula being used by school districts or has been recommended by the state. The goal is to outline the issue for parents so that they can view the materials and learn about ways to join in the push for accountability in our children’s education. You can view the website here.

SB 673 would amend state law to require school districts make elementary-age sex education materials available online and restore the right of parents of elementary-age students (TK-6th grade) to opt their children into this instruction. Over 40,000 people have signed a petition in support of SB 673. You can read more here.

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Record State Budget Ups Spending - and Taxes

Despite record-setting revenues and a $22 billion state budget surplus, Governor Newsom and legislative Democrats still pushed through another $2 billion in higher taxes.

These new taxes on 9-1-1 services and health care follow another 5.6-cent increase in the gas tax coming July 1, due to the passage of a law in 2017 promoted by former Governor Brown. To see a video on this gas tax, click here.

To read my full statement on the state budget, click here.

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23rd Senate District Nonprofit of the Year

Senator Mike Morrell (center) with The Unforgettables Founder Tim Evans (right) and organization associate Gary Gryte (left).Each year, Nonprofit Day at the Capitol is an opportunity to highlight the work of organizations from around the state and provide an opportunity to nonprofits.

This year, The Unforgettables Foundation was recognized as the 23rd Senate District Nonprofit of the year.

Founded in 1999, with the assistance of local educators, medical professionals, social workers, CPAs, attorneys, bankers, morticians, and others, The Unforgettables Foundation helps low-income families provide dignified, appropriate burials for children who have passed away.

The organization comes alongside families in the most difficult circumstances Tim Evans and his team provide invaluable support and resources for our community.

To date, The Unforgettables Foundation has assisted over 6,000 Inland Empire and Desert Area families in financial need with more than $4 million for essential funeral funds.

You can read more at here.

Photo: Senator Mike Morrell (center) with The Unforgettables Founder Tim Evans (right) and organization associate Gary Gryte.

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Economic Summit in Pass Area

The Banning Chamber of Commerce and LLLeindecker & Associates recently hosted an economic summit in the Pass Area, bringing together business owners and economists to discuss the state of the region on issues ranging from housing to job growth.

I attended along with Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove, who I was pleased to introduce to attendees as the keynote speaker.

Read more about the event in the Record-Gazette here.

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WWII Airman Laid to Rest

Funeral procession for WWII veteran Vince RogersIn early June, a funeral was held at Riverside National Cemetery for Staff Sgt. Vince Rogers, a World War II airman, who died in the Pacific Theater. The honors came 75 years after his passing.

Rogers trained at March Air Reserve Base. The March Field Air Museum currently displays a number of letters that he sent home to loved ones.

To read more in the Press-Enterprise, click here.

Photo credit: Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG

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Senator Morrell presents resolution to Lake Gregory Yacht Club in commemoration of its 15th anniversary.
Lake Gregory Yacht Club. Each year, members of the Lake Gregory Yacht Club host fundraisers and volunteer with a number of local organizations in the San Bernardino mountain communities. Club members are blue water sailors, model yachtsmen, and power boaters. Due to its small size and motor boat restrictions, they encourage the sailing of radio control sailboats on Lake Gregory for a great family activity. Owning a yacht is not necessary to take part in the fun!

They recently celebrated their 15th anniversary and were honored for the fifth year in a row as the Southern California Yachting Association Club of the Year. Art Dixon (pictured here) is the club commodore. Congratulations and thank you for your service to the community!

Senator Morrell with attendees at Hemet Memorial Day ceremony  Senator Morrell with attendees at Hemet Memorial Day ceremony
Memorial Day in Hemet. I was honored to take part in a Memorial Day service in Hemet. Special thanks to San Jacinto Rotary and V.F.W. Post 2266 for organizing this event.

Photo 1 (left to right): Richard Powell, Jordyn Jamchi (who sang the National Anthem), and Captain Leonard Purvis of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Photo 2: Members of San Jacinto Rotary.

Senator Morrell with honorees at Menifee Memorial Day ceremonySenator Morrell with local officials at Menifee Memorial Day ceremony
Memorial Day in Menifee. The City of Menifee held a moving Memorial Day Ceremony and flyover at the Menifee Veterans Memorial in Wheatfield Park. Remembering the fallen as well as those who have served. Thank you to the city and partner organizations. You can read more in Menifee 24/7 here.

To see more photos, you can visit my Facebook page here.

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Redistricting Commission 2020 logo

Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census, California redraws the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts to reflect the new population numbers.

Proposition 11, passed by California voters in 2008, shifted authority for drawing these lines away from the state legislature to a nonpartisan redistricting commission.

Applications are now open to serve on the upcoming commission. If you are a registered voter and meet eligibility requirements, you can apply. Members are paid $300 for each day of commission work, plus reimbursement for work-related expenses.

The application period for new Commission members began on June 10, 2019, and will run through August 9, 2019.

Click here for more information.

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Reagan on D-Day

Ronald Reagan addresses audience at D-Day 40th anniversay commemoration (1984).On June 6, the world took time to gather and reflect on the 75th anniversary of the Allied landing of troops on the beaches of Normandy, which came to be known as D-Day. It marked a significant turning point in World War II.

During his presidency, Ronald Reagan represented the United States for the 40th anniversary commemorations of D-Day. Here’s an excerpt:

“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.”

To read the entire speech or to watch it, click here.

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