Morrell Report: December 2019

Friday, December 20, 2019

We’re here to help

Our office is here to serve you. If you’re having difficulties with a state agency, need a question answered about pending legislation, or want to know more about upcoming events, please give us a call at (909) 919-7731. You can also email me at Senator.Morrell@sen.ca.gov.

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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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Message

Sen. Morrell with his family

This Thanksgiving, my wife and I were grateful to have all of our kids and grandkids together for the first time in a long while. It was a wonderful way to start the holidays.

During this season of anticipation and expectation, we’re reminded to pause and reflect on our blessings. Our hearts are also with those in our communities and throughout our state for whom this year has been challenging, keeping in mind the promise that comes with new beginnings at the start of another year.

Heading into the final days of 2019, my family and I wish you and your loved ones safe travels and good fellowship. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mike

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Defending Taxpayers & Small Businesses

Historic side of California State Capitol buildingIn case you missed it, the Southern California News Group family of newspapers in a recent editorial highlighted the push by the majority party in the state legislature to increase taxes this past year. I appreciate their recognition of my vote record in being among those legislators who opposed the highest number of taxes and fees this past year.

Each year, organizations like the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the California Chamber of Commerce release scorecards rating legislators’ voting records on measures related to taxes, regulations and mandates.

This year, I was one of 15 legislators to receive a 100 percent rating from the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. I also earned 100 percent from the California Chamber of Commerce.

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SB 673 Set for January Committee Hearing

Sen. Morrell speaks to parents rallying at the State Capitol.Earlier this year, I authored SB 673 to put parents back in control of their children’s education.

Many parents have expressed concern that much of the material in the new sex education curricula is unsuitable and, in some cases, too explicit for young students. In some parts of the state, parents are frustrated at the absence of clear communication from district officials about what is included in the adopted curricula.

More than 46,000 have signed a petition and many have come to the Capitol supporting SB 673, which requires greater transparency and strengthens parental choice in this subject area.

On January 15, 2020, the bill is set for hearing by the full Senate Education Committee at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Learn more about the issue and the bill at this website.

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Hearing from Manufacturers

Sen. Morrell joins local manufcaturers for a policy discussion and roundtable.This fall, the Manufacturers’ Council of the Inland Empire invited me to participate in a roundtable discussion on the challenges facing manufacturing in California. I was pleased to join with San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe for this event.

While manufacturing jobs have steadily grown since the end of the last recession, that growth is not necessarily where it could be.

A report presented at the 9th Annual Southern California Economic Summit found this underperformance stems largely from the state’s regulatory environment and energy policies.

I appreciated the opportunity from these businesses in our area. Read more about the conversation in this article from InlandEmpire.us.

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NEW Statewide Earthquake Warning System

Logo advertising California Earthquake Early Warning system.California marked two anniversaries this year reminding each of us to be ready for the “big one” – 25 years since the 6.7 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles and 30 years since the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake near San Francisco.

It may be impossible to know exactly when a quake will hit, but California has now developed an early warning system that can alert you within seconds of a pending event.

Learn more about this program and mobile app at earthquake.ca.gov.

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Capital Fellows Program

Senator Morrell congratulates Carney King on the completion of his Senate Fellowship with the senate office.Applications for the 2020-21 Capital Fellows Programs are now OPEN. Submissions are due by Monday, February 3, 2020 by 5:00 p.m. PST.

The Center for California Studies at CSU Sacramento administers four fellowship programs, which are nationally recognized and offer unique experiences in policy-making and development in each branch of government.

I have had the privilege of hosting a Senate Fellow in my office the past five years, most recently Carney King of Elk Grove, CA (pictured here), who served in the U.S. Army and graduated from the University of Oregon upon leaving the service. We have been grateful to have him on staff.

I highly recommend the program. Qualified applicants must have completed their undergraduate education by the time their cohort begins in the fall. I encourage you to share this information with any college graduates you may know who are considering a career or work experience in public service. More details are available here.

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Reminders for Flu Season

Red cross representing first aidLoma Linda University Health regularly shares updates and tips throughout the year on ways to stay healthy.

A recent alert highlights that flu season started early this year, with more influenza activity through November than any other November since 2009.

As of November 23, flu activity has appeared in all 50 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Here are some reminders for this season:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Eat foods that boost your immunity
  3. Get a good night’s sleep
  4. Listen to your body
  5. Get help if it gets worse

Read the entire article here for more information.

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Photos

Sen. Morrell with constituents at the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Christmas luncheon  Sen. Morrell speaks at the Loma Linda Chamber of Commerce.

Great visit with friends in San Bernardino for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Christmas luncheon.

Sen. Morrell with local members of the California Conservation Corps.  Sen. Morrell with attendees at the Christmas Reception  Sen. Morrell and San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford with Santa Claus

Thank you to all who attended the annual Christmas reception I co-hosted with San Bernardino County Supervisor Rutherford (above). Good to see friends and neighbors, including a contingent from the local California Conservation Corps.

Sen. Morrell with local veterans and officials at a Menifee veterans' Christmas breakfast.

Grateful for the opportunity to speak to veterans from Menifee’s VFW Post 1956 and The Oasis community at their December event. Appreciate Commander Michael Cano (far left) for asking me to attend!

Sen. Morrell speaks at the Citrus Valley Assn. of Realtors Christmas breakfast meeting.

Honored to speak at the Citrus Valley Association of Realtors’ December breakfast with music provided by the Bonita High School choir

Calimesa city officials drop by the State Capitol.

City officials from Calimesa stopped by our capitol office recently on their return trip from meetings with counterparts in the town of Paradise. They met together to discuss experiences and lessons from last year’s Camp Fire, in the wake of the recent Sandalwood Fire that swept through the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park in October. From left: City Council Member Larry Smith, City Manager Bonnie Johnson, Fire Chief Jock Johnson, and City Council Member Jeff Cervantez.

Friends and family watching the Crafton Hills College Regional Fire Academy graduation ceremony  Graduates demonstrate how quickly they can load their gear when called to a fire.

Congratulations to the 101st graduating class of the Crafton Hills College Regional Fire Academy! Friends and family gathered for the celebration at their campus in Yucaipa – part of the event included a drill demonstrating how quickly they can put on their gear during an emergency call. See more highlights on the academy’s Instagram account here.

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2020 State Business Tax Climate Index

State-by-state map showing the business tax climate in each state.

Annually, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation releases its State Business Tax Climate Index with the intention of informing business leaders, policymakers, and taxpayers on the efficiency of their tax systems and how their individual systems compare with other states.

For the 2020 ranking, California comes in at #48 – burdened by particularly high income and sales taxes (ranked #49 and #45 in those respective categories) pushed by the majority party in Sacramento.

Taxes are a large factor in whether or not businesses choose to locate or expand. For over a decade, an annual poll of over 500 CEOs from around the country has ranked California the worst place to do business.

Going into next year, especially as a new governor takes office, there needs to be a focus on ensuring businesses can continue to build a strong economy and create jobs in our communities.

You can read the full Tax Foundation report here.

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Apollo 8 – Christmas Message

Photo of earth from the moon's orbit, shot by crew of Apollo 8 (Source: NASA)Earlier this year, the world commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the moon landing. It remains one of the most significant human achievements.

Seven months before that mission, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first humans to orbit the moon on Christmas Eve 1968.

In the message they shared back to earth, the astronauts took turns reading from the book of Genesis starting with, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…”

They signed off saying, “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth.”

Read more and listen to the full message on NASA’s website here.

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