Morrell Monthly: October 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Connect With Me On Social Media

To learn more about what I’m working on in Sacramento, or events happening in the district, please visit my website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. You can also email me at Senator.Morrell@sen.ca.gov.

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Reminder: 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 schedule here.

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Catching Up

With the 2013/14 legislative session now finished, I’ve had more time to spend back home and make my way around the 23rd Senate District. September and October have both been busy, but a nice change of pace.

I’ve enjoyed speaking to several different groups and sharing my thoughts about how the year shaped up at the Capitol. I always appreciate these opportunities, especially since it provides me with the chance to hear the community’s take on what’s happening in our state and ideas for moving things forward. For those that made it to my community coffee in Blue Jay, thanks for attending! We had a great turnout. Be sure to watch for more events in the future.

Meanwhile, back in Sacramento, the governor finished going through the pile of legislation that made it to his desk. As it goes every year, there are always hits and misses.

I was disappointed that he signed SB 270, a bill that effectively bans plastic bags statewide and requires stores to charge customers a minimum of ten cents for paper bags. He also signed into law AB 1897, a bill supported by trial attorneys that will likely lead to more lawsuits between employers and subcontractors.

Patrick Henry is credited with saying, “Perfect freedom is as necessary to the health and vigor of commerce as it is to the health and vigor of citizenship.” I’m concerned the legislature detracts from this freedom by passing too many bills that make it increasingly difficult for employers to thrive in our state. You may rest assured that I will continue to promote and support legislation that will spur private sector job creation and improve the economy.

On a positive note, thanks to the efforts of my Republican colleagues, AB 13 will allow all veterans to attend University of California and California State University campuses at in-state tuition rates.

Over the course of the year, I heard from many of you on these and other issues. If you have any questions about a bill or want to express your opinions, never hesitate to get in touch with me. I always appreciate your input.

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Around the 23rd

Photo of the Boys and Girls club of Greater Redlands-Riverside
I was delighted to be on hand when Time Warner Cable presented a check for $5,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Redlands-Riverside’s EXPLORE STEM program, which encourages learning in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Learn more about the club’s work at BeGreatIE.org.

Photo of Susie Jarvis and Senator Morrell
In September I spoke to a meeting with the American Business Women Association, including Susie Jarvis of Alta Vista Credit Union.

Photo of interns Yesenia Martinez, Stephanie Lao, Kimberly Santos, Kyle Brady, and Dillon Landeros.
Our District Office interns have been hard at work this fall! In the top photo, Stephanie Lao and Yesenia Martinez represent our office at Loma Linda University’s Welcome Back Bash. In the bottom photo, Kimberly Santos, Kyle Brady, and Dillon Landeros help kick off the fall season at the Yucaipa AutumnFest.

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Top Chamber Awards

Each year, I work with our local chambers of commerce to honor businesses from across our district that have added jobs to our local economy and shown strong a strong commitment to our community. Since it started, we’ve had the privilege of recognizing over 120 businesses. This year’s event will be held November 21 at the University of Redlands - Orton Center.

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Beaumont Veteran Gets Backyard Makeover

In a recent issue of the Record Gazette, we came across the story of Beaumont resident Adam Sampson and his family. A U.S. Army veteran of the recent conflicts in Iraq, Adam was injured in the line of duty. In July, a crew of 50 volunteers - with generous support from The Home Depot and the Disabled American Veterans San Bernardino Chapter 12 - descended on the Sampsons’ home to completely revamp their backyard. I want to thank all the volunteers who helped make this event happen, and especially thank Adam for his service.

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Economic Impact of Hidden Gas Tax

Photo of Image

Recent editions of my monthly e-newsletter have shone light on the hidden gas “tax” headed our way and the impact it will have on Californians. It will especially be felt in the Inland Empire, where so many of us rely on our cars to get where we need to go. In the August issue of the Inland Empire Business Journal, I explained how it will hurt businesses in particular. To read my column, you can click here (navigate to Page 5).

As the legislature adjourned in August without taking action to stop it, the ball is now in the governor’s court.

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 Intern Spotlight: Nicole Barron


Image of Intern Nicole BarronNicole Barron has been an intern at our district office since June 2014 and tells us she has enjoyed every second of it. Having grown up in Fontana, her knowledge of the region was an asset to our office.

This fall, Nicole headed back to northern California to start her third year at UC Santa Cruz. She is double majoring in Politics and History. Aside from school, she enjoys photography, being outdoors, and (in her own words) she loves to laugh.

During her internship, Nicole says she learned the importance of a strong work ethic and appreciated gaining a first-hand experience with working in a governmental office setting. She really enjoyed learning more about our state and seeing the direct relationship staff has with the constituents of our district.

What made Nicole particularly excited about interning in our office is that she hopes to one day start a career involving public service. Although she is still unsure exactly what that entails, she knows that she wants to work in government.

We want to thank you for her hard work this summer and wish her well in her studies!

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Declining Workforce Participation Rate

 

Graph of national labor force participation rate over the last 10 years.

While official unemployment numbers may be dropping across the country, it’s important to keep in mind that those figures are just one of many indicators regarding the health of the economy.

The chart above tracks the last decade of the national labor force participation rate. As of September, the figure now sits at 62.7 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics), a level not seen since 1976. In August, California’s rate was 61.9 percent (California Labor Market Review, p. 6). It’s a concerning trend and just one more reminder that even with the recession officially “over”, the economy is still very much in recovery mode.

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