Morrell Monthly: September 2018

Friday, September 28, 2018

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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Updated State Budget Information

Chart of Annual Surpluses Decline to Deficits

Earlier this summer, the 2018-19 State Budget was signed into law by the governor. The 2018 Budget Act reflects record highs for spending, revenues, and reserves.

However, despite a $10 billion surplus, continued “baseline” spending growth is projected to outpace revenues over the next several years. And as has become typical of the budget process, most of its provisions were decided behind closed doors with Republicans locked out of the discussions.

You can read my assessment of the budget’s passage here.

Since June, a number of changes have been made to the budget. To see updated information and analysis, you can go to

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November 2 • CHP Senior Safety Driving Course

Chart of Annual Surpluses Decline to Deficits

On Friday, November 2, my office, along with San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford and the City of Rancho Cucamonga, will partner with the California Highway Patrol to host an “Age Well Drive Smart” seminar.

This 2-hour course is designed primarily for drivers age 55 and older. It includes classroom instruction on driving safety, basic road courtesy, information on the impact visual or hearing impairments have on driving ability, and tips on avoiding or offsetting hazardous road conditions.

Some insurance companies offer discounted premiums with a certificate of course completion. Check with your insurance provider to confirm this program meets its criteria for a policy discount.


Friday, November 2, 2018
1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Central Park, Rancho Cucamonga Hall
11200 Baseline Rd.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91701

Seating is limited. For more information or to RSVP, please contact our District Office at (909) 919-7731.

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Earthquake Brace + Bolt

Earthquake Brace + Bolt logoEarthquakes are an inevitable part of life here in California. While we cannot predict when one will happen, we can take steps to prepare and make our homes as safe as possible

As of August 2018, the Earthquake Brace + Bolt Program (EBB), developed by the California Earthquake Authority and the Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), has helped over 6,000 homeowners seismically retrofit their homes, including many in the Inland Empire.

Eligible homeowners that qualify can apply for up to $3,000 in grants to pay for code-compliant seismic retrofits. Once registered, applicants are selected through random drawing.

Open registration for the 2019 program begins October 9, 2018 and ends November 13, 2018.

For more information about the program and to check your home’s eligibility, visit

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Redlands Unified Nutrition Director Receives National Recognition

Redlands Unified nutrition director Betty Crocker receives awardsBetty Crocker is recognized by Redlands Unified School Board

Our office was on hand to recognize Redlands Unified School District director of nutrition services, Betty Crocker, for being named one of five national winners of the 2018 No Kid Hungry Summer Meals Hero Contest.

Due to Betty’s efforts, and support from community partners including the City of Redlands, the Redlands Police Department, and Amazon, this past summer, her program provided over 55,000 free meals.

A special thanks to Betty and her passion for serving kids and families in our region.

You can read more about Betty’s work (and her namesake) in this article from the Redlands Daily Facts.

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Thank you, First Responders!

On Saturday, September 22, our office partnered with Mountain Rim Fire Safe Council to shine a spotlight on the emergency personnel in our region at the second annual California First Responder Day. A similar event took place at Snow Valley Mountain Resort.

California First Responder Day, as designated by Senate Resolution 75, is an opportunity to thank these men and women who keep us safe and learn more about the jobs they do. It also aims to build community connections with public safety agencies and promote greater familiarity with the services they provide to the public.

Representatives from the California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, Rancho Cucamonga Police, and others were all on hand to meet with kids and families out for the day. LifeStream also hosted a blood drive.

For more information on California First Responder Day, you can visit

Responders from Cal Fire San Bernardino UnitOfficers with the California Highway Patrol

Senator Morrell with responders from San Bernardino County FireResponders with Cal Fire truck

Senator Morrell with responders from San Bernardino County FireSan Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford, San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon, Senator Morrell

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California Pension Debt Among Nation’s Highest

Chart of California Pension Debt Among Nation’s Highest

According to the U.S. Pension Tracker website operated by the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, California’s public pension obligations total over $1 trillion.

Of that amount, an estimated $300 billion is unfunded. If you total out that debt per household (see chart above), it comes to approximately $122,121.

No matter which way you slice it, California’s public pension liabilities are huge.

As vice chair of the Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement, one of my chief priorities has been ensuring that while commitments are kept to state workers, we look for ways to reform the system.

We are at great risk of passing on debt to future generations that may never be fully payable. It is a burden that our children and grandchildren should not have to bear.

Learn more about the state of our pension system on the U.S. Pension Tracker website here.

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Madison on Liberty

Founding Father James MadisonThis month, we mark 231 years since the adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Along with the Declaration of Independence, these two documents laid the foundations of our country, grounded in the principle of limited government and freedom.

In a 1792 essay, Founding Father James Madison made the following observation that still resonates:

“In Europe, charters of liberty have been granted by power. America has set the example … of charters of power granted by liberty. This revolution in the practice of the world, may, with an honest praise, be pronounced the most triumphant epoch of its history, and the most consoling presage of its happiness.”

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