Morrell Monthly: September 2014

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We Moved! New District Office

Map of New District Office

On September 2nd, the 23rd Senate District Office relocated to Rancho Cucamonga. Please take note of the new address and phone number below. I hope you can drop in for a visit sometime!

10350 Commerce Center Drive, Suite A-220
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

Phone: (909) 919-7731
Fax: (909) 919-7739

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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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Mobile Office Hours

Did you know members of my staff hold regular office hours in communities throughout the 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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Legislative Year Ends

Senator Morrell in Floor Session

“Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint.”
-Daniel Webster, 1847

In the early morning hours of August 30, the legislature officially adjourned, ending its two-year session. And it was a busy one - filled with both hits and misses for our state.

On a positive note, the legislature approved the creation of a Rainy Day Fund that would require the state to save money in good years to better withstand inevitable bad years. We also began paying off our state debt; although, there is still a ways to go in addressing our long-term financial obligations.

But along the way, there were also missed opportunities and missteps. Reflecting their desire to continue funding the Governor’s high-speed rail project, majority party leaders blocked efforts to prevent gas prices from spiking beginning January 1. They also spent time pushing issues like a ban on plastic bags and other bills that will hurt our economy. Needless to say, these were disappointments.

For me personally, this year was a unique experience, having started the year in the Assembly and then being elected to the Senate in March. The Governor also signed three of my bills into law - AB 326 (CalOSHA Reporting), SB 960 (Board of Pharmacy Letter of Reprimand), and SB 997 (California Senior Legislature). If you have ideas for bills, please don’t hesitate to share them with me. The next legislative session will begin in December.

Over the fall months, I’m looking forward to spending more time around the district. Be sure to keep on the lookout for opportunities to say “hi” and share your priorities for our area!

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Summer Storms

In early August and again this past weekend, summer storms drenched several communities in the Inland Empire, causing severe flooding and mudslides in some areas. Rescue and recovery efforts would not have been possible without the first responders and volunteers who came to the aid of their neighbors. I want to thank everyone who stepped up to help those impacted. Our hearts and prayers go out to those still dealing with the aftermath.

These events are reminders of the importance of preparing for emergency situations.

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2014 Ark of Safety Forum a Success

Collage of 2014 Ark of Saffety Forum

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2014 Ark of Safety Forum in San Jacinto! My hope is that the tips and information provided by the instructors and speakers helped prepare our region for an emergency or disaster. To read more about the event, click here. You can also watch video highlights by clicking here.

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Community Hero Spotlight: Mal Middlesworth

Photo of Mal Middlesworth, his wife and Senator Morrell
I was honored to present Mal with a resolution honoring him for his military service.
Here we are pictured with his wife, JoJean.

Originally from Illinois, Mal Middlesworth is a survivor of the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. At the time, he was 18 years old and served with the Marine detachment on the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco. Years later, Mal can still vividly remember the scene and he is dedicated to ensuring future generations also remember.

Mal served in the Marines throughout World War II and was involved in battles on Wake Island/ Midway Samoa, raids on Gilbert and Marshalls islands, the Guadalcanal landings, the Battle of Cape Esperance and the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. He was awarded a Purple Heart by Admiral Bull Halsey.

At the end of the war, Mal earned a college degree and went into the media business as a writer and film company owner. His last job was vice president of productions at of one of the largest media companies in the country. Mal feels he would not have been as successful in business or life without serving in the Marine Corps. He is a past president of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.

Join me in thanking Mal Middlesworth for his service and sharing his story to keep this part of American history alive for future generations.

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SB 997 Signed Into Law, Boosts California Senior Legislature

The California Senior Legislature is an influential voice for seniors across California. My bill, SB 997, makes an important change to the California income tax forms to help this group receive the funding it needs to continue its advocacy work. To learn more, click here.

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Victory for Veterans

Amid the flurry of bills voted on last month was Assembly Bill 13. This measure, championed by Republicans, ensures that all veterans qualify for in-state tuition rates at our public colleges and universities. You can read more about it here.

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Hidden Gas Tax Now in Governor’s Hands

Image of Construction zoneOver the last few months, I’ve shared my concerns about a hidden “gas tax” headed our way next January and was working to eliminate it during the last weeks of the legislative session. Unfortunately, despite support from members of both parties, legislative leaders of the majority party blocked these efforts. It’s now up to the Governor and the Air Resources Board to keep gas prices from increasing by as much as 76 cents per gallon. You can urge them to do so by contacting the following:

Governor:
(916) 445-2841
www.gov.ca.gov

California Air Resources Board:
www.arb.ca.gov

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Intern Spotlight: Hannah Ackley


Image of Intern Hannah Ackley with Senator MorrellEach fall and spring, legislative offices in the Capitol are eligible to host student interns through CSU Sacramento’s Sacramento Semester Program. Since January, my office has had the privilege of having Hannah Ackley on our staff.

Originally from Livermore in the Bay Area, Hannah recently graduated from CSU Sacramento with a degree in Government and International Relations. One of her favorite parts of the internship was the opportunity to work in both the Senate and Assembly. Though there are many similarities between the two houses, Hannah learned - along with me and the rest of our staff - that there are also many subtle differences.

In October, Hannah will start working in the Capitol as an Assembly Fellow, through the Center for California Studies. Her goal is to further her understanding of the development of public policy. Hannah’s long-term goals include working in the areas of foreign relations and human rights.

Our staff will miss Hannah around the office, but know we will still see her around the Capitol building. We wish her well and congratulate her on this next step!.

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More Evidence of the High-Cost of Living in California

Recent discussions about increasing gasoline taxes to reduce global warming in California have led many research organizations to look at how much it costs to live in California, before these taxes and other potential costs are factored in. The picture is not pretty.

The map above shows how far $100 will go in each state relative to the national average. For Californians, the spending power is roughly $88 for things like food, housing, clothes, and gasoline. The hidden gas tax and other costs will reduce the spending power of $100 even more.

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In Memoriam: Bill Anthony

 

Image of Bill AnthonyLast month, my wife Joanie and I were saddened to learn of the passing of our friend Bill Anthony, founder and publisher of the Inland Empire Business Journal. For the past 25 years, he highlighted the rapid growth of our region as it became an economic engine that is still powering forward today.

Bill was not only a successful businessman, but also one of our community’s most generous individuals. Countless nonprofits and charities benefited from his fundraising efforts.

Above all, Bill was a man of faith who lived life to its fullest. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his wife Ingrid and their family.

To read more about his life, you can click here.

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