Welcome to the February 2018 edition of the Stone Sentinel.
Our newsletter is a few days later than usual this month because I wanted to include information about the legislation I have just introduced.
The deadline for me and my hard-working staff to submit bills for 2018 was Friday, February 16th.
Inside my newsletter I have highlighted several bills I have just introduced. You can find a complete list of all my bills on my website—www.Senate.CA.Gov/Stone—where you can also track the legislation as it grinds through the process of committee hearings, floor votes and, hopefully, on to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
As you have probably heard, much of the talk in Sacramento—and across the country—this month has been on the issue of sexual harassment.
I was proud to stand in strong support of AB 403 by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez of Lake Elsinore which will provide protection for the brave women, and men, who work in the State Capitol and come forward to report such heinous abuse and actions.
Finally, applications are now available on my website for my annual Veterans Service Awards which will be presented in May. I invite you to nominate Veterans from across the 28th Senate District, who have not only have served our nation, but have continued to serve our communities after their military days were done.
As always, if our offices can be of any assistance with state related issues, please give us a call or send an email.
It is an honor to represent you in the California State Senate.
The deadline to introduce legislation for the current session was Friday, February 16th.
In his weekly Capitol Update, Senator Stone offered details on some of the bills he has introduced for the coming year.
Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/2BEoeuc
Members of the Senator’s staff also brought bills to the Senate floor for their formal introduction.
Britny Garcin, from Senator Stone’s Capitol Office, introduces a bill on the Senate floor.
Learn more about legislative package, and follow the progress of those bills, by visiting the Senator’s website—www.Senate.CA.Gov/Stone—and clicking on the Legislation link.
Senator Stone introduced legislation—SB 1352—to substantially reduce state tax rates for Californian’s working families. Also called the Saving Money And Reducing Taxes (SMART) Act, SB 1352 will make the first $100,000 of income exempt from state taxes for single filers and the first $200,000 of income exempt for married couples filing jointly.
Realizing that this move will result in a significant fiscal impact, SB 1352 will require non-resident property owners who own second homes in California, but do not pay income taxes here, to begin paying income taxes in the state based on the amount of time they spend living in the state.
“It just doesn’t seem right that hundreds of thousands of wealthy individuals spend multiple months of the year here in their million dollar mansions and use our roads, visit our hospitals and utilize our infrastructure but don’t pay any income taxes here,” said Senator Stone. “The SMART Act will give tax relief to millions of California working families and require people who own property here but say they don’t live here to start paying their fair share,” added Stone.
Senator Stone added, “California has the highest income tax in the nation, and non-resident property ownership is a sign that there is a giant loophole in our tax system that needs to be closed to give much needed relief to the middle-class families who tirelessly work in the state to be able to afford homes of their own.”
Under the SMART Act, every property owner will be required to fill out a state income tax form, declaring under penalty of perjury what percentage of the year he or she spends in the State of California. These individuals will then be required to pay state income taxes for the amount of time they spend in the state. For example, if a property owner who lives here four months a year (33%) and makes $5,000,000 a year in another state based on that owner’s federal tax return, the person would be required to pay state taxes on $1,650,000 (33%) of income.
“The working families of California shouldn’t have to pay for the Hollywood elite and the Silicon Valley billionaires who use our roads, take advantage of our healthcare system and enjoy our parks and beaches without paying income taxes here even though they essentially live here,” said Senator Stone.
The SMART Act will soon be referred to the appropriate policy committee and will be debated and voted on in the coming months.
In an effort to combat a rising level of thieves stealing valuable metals like copper, iron and steel, Senator Stone has introduced Senate Bill 1161.
Metal theft has become an increasing problem for local businesses and farmers due to the high value of metals paid by recycling centers around the state. “To help farmers and businesses who have irrigation pipes stolen and businesses that have their copper plumbing pipes stolen, I’ve introduced SB 1161,” said Senator Stone.
Under the legislation, individuals who turn in metal for recycling (excluding aluminum), will receive a tax credit instead of cash to be received when the person returning the metal files his or her individual tax return. Recycling centers and scrap metal yards will no longer be able to compensate individuals with cash when receiving large quantities of metal.
“This legislation will help stop thieves who destroy a farmer’s irrigation system by stealing the metal pipes from going to a scrap metal yard and getting thousands of dollars in cash. Instead, legitimate recyclers will be able to give a receipt to the individual turning in the metal that can be used to receive a tax credit,” said Stone.
Senator Stone concluded, “Millions of dollars a year are lost due to thieves who steal irrigation systems, rip out air conditioning units and literally take copper plumbing pipes out of the walls of homes being built. SB 1161 will go a long way towards removing the financial incentive to steal these valuable metals.”
SB 1161 will be referred to a policy committee in the coming weeks where it will be debated and voted on.
Nominations are now being accepted from individuals and groups for Senator Stone’s 2018 Veterans Service Awards.
The awards are given annually to 10 military veterans who live or work in the 28th Senate District and who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help their fellow veterans and members of the community.
Watch the video here: http://bit.ly/2CetNfz
Senator Stone will present the awards at separate ceremonies held in Southwest Riverside County and the Coachella Valley in late May.
“We owe our veterans a debt that can never be repaid,” said Senator Stone. “This award is just a small token of our thanks and appreciation for what they have done, not only during their time in uniform, but after they returned home.”
Veterans groups, such as American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts, are encouraged to nominate a member of their organization for the award and individuals can also nominate worthy veterans.
The deadline to submit applications is April 20, 2018.
Award recipients must be residents of, or work in the 28th District, which is entirely in Riverside County and includes the cities of Blythe, Canyon Lake, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, Lake Elsinore, La Quinta, Murrieta, Temecula, Palm Desert, Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Wildomar.
Applications and more information are available on the Senator’s website—www.Senate.CA.Gov/Stone—and by calling the Senator’s District Office in the Coachella Valley in Indio (760-398-6442) and Southwest Office in Murrieta. (951-894-3530).
Fantasy Springs General Manager Paul Ryan, Cabazon Band of Mission Indians Chairman Doug Welmas, and State Senator Jeff Stone.
Senator Stone recently presented his 2017 Large Business of the Year Award (East District) to Fantasy Springs Resort Casino.
“Fantasy Springs, including their Tribe and Staff, are being honored as a pillar in our community,” said Senator Stone. “Their dedication to the Coachella Valley is limitless.”
The Senator Stone presented a Senate Proclamation to Doug Welmas, Chairman of the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians to mark the event.
About 150 people attended the presentation which was held at the Fantasy Springs Hotel.
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino is a privately operated business of The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians and employs over 1,200 people in the Coachella Valley. Fantasy Springs Casino opened in 1995 and underwent an expansion in 2000.
Fantasy Springs Resort Casino expanded further with a 250-room hotel and Special Events Center in 2004. In late April 2007, the 18-hole Eagle Falls Golf Course at Fantasy Springs opened to the public.
“Fantasy Springs has supported, sponsored and assisted in a multitude of events, charities, partnerships and more,” Senator Stone said. “It is a privilege and honor to have Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in the 28th State Senate District.”
Senator Stone has earned a 100 percent mark on the 2017 legislative score card from the National Federation of Independent Business–California (NFIB/CA), the leading voice for small business in California.
Senator Stone is one of just 11 State Senators to receive the 100 percent mark, which measured lawmakers’ votes on 14 bills vital to the health of small business in California.
In total, just 22 of the 120 members of the State Senate and Assembly—all of them Republicans—achieved 100 percent scores.
“Every legislator claims to be a friend of small business, but our voting record puts them to the test,” said John Kabateck, NFIB/CA State Director.
Read the complete NFIB Voting Record here: http://bit.ly/2EGSRyA
Read the NFIB Press Release here: http://bit.ly/2GPAUhX
“As a small business owner myself, I know the challenges these hard working Californian’s face every day,” said Senator Stone, a pharmacist who opened his first pharmacy in Temecula in 1983. “I thank the NFIB for their support and will continue to work to defeat job-killing legislation that makes it hard to start and keep a small business in California going.”
In his more than three years in the State Senate, and before that for more than two decades as a Riverside County Supervisor and a Temecula City Councilman, Senator Stone has never wavered in his support of the business community.
In 2017, in addition to his NFIB voting record, Senator Stone was one of just 10 legislators whose voting record was 100% in alignment with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer’s Association.
Senator Stone is also one of 10 state senators to post a perfect 16-0 mark in the 2017 California Chamber of Commerce Vote Record of Major Bills.
Senator Stone spoke in favor of AB 403 by Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez to give protection to those reporting sexual harassment in the State Capitol.
Watch the video of his floor speech here: http://bit.ly/2oh4NA7
In a wide-ranging interview with talk show host Larry Marino on KRLA AM870 The Answer, Senator Stone discussed current events in Sacramento and looked ahead at what is likely to take place in the year to come.
Listen here: http://bit.ly/2EG7cum
Whether he’s traveling across the 28th Senate District or welcoming people to his Capitol Office, Senate Stone always enjoys spending time speaking and listening to the people he represents.
Senator Stone, District Director Glenn Miller and District Representative Consuelo Arias were honored to attend the 16th Annual Dr. George Charity Car Show which benefited the Desert Cancer Foundation. The event, the largest car show in the region, helps the foundation assist Coachella Valley residents in need of cancer treatments.
Senator Stone was honored to take part in the Welcome Ceremony for the 18th Annual Palm Desert Senior Games & International Sports Festival.
Representatives from Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the 28th Senate District recently visited Senator Stone in his Sacramento office.
Senator Stone recently welcomed representatives of the California PTA from Lake Elsinore, Temecula and Murrieta to his office in Sacramento.
Every month Team Stone travels across Riverside County attending events, meeting with constituents and listening to business owners, local officials and the hard working people of the 28th Senate District.
Here are just a few of the places Senator Stone’s staff visited recently:
Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Riverside County Economic Development Agency French Valley Business Center located at French Valley Airport. District Director Glenn Miller and District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
District Representative Debbie Herrera always enjoys starting her day at a Student of the Month program. Debbie presented certificates to these great students from Temecula on behalf of Senator Stone.
Senator Stone recently honored Steaks and Cakes Restaurant in Blythe as “Small Business of the Year” for their continued support of the residents of Blythe. District Director Glenn Miller presented a Senate Proclamation from Senator Stone.
Team Stone joined with the Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Homewood Suites on Cook Street in Palm Desert. District Representative Consuelo Arias presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone joined with the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Hammer & Stain DIY Workshop on Jefferson Avenue. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
District Representative Darrell Connerton joined the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce for the ribbon cutting ceremony for Italicus Gelato on Winchester Road in Temecula. Darrell presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone joined the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Ideku Sushi & Ramen on Madison Avenue in Murrieta. District Representative Darrell Connerton presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone joined in the fun at the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting for Murrieta Wholesale Outlet on Jefferson Avenue. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
District Representative Darrell Connerton joined the Temecula Valley Chamber of Commerce at the ribbon cutting ceremony for New Palace Realty on Old Town Front Street. Darrell presented a certificate from Senator Stone.
Team Stone was proud to attend the presentation of the Murrieta Rotary Club Vocational Service Awards honoring the City’s Fire and Police Departments and the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. Communications Director John Hunneman presented certificates to the outstanding award recipients.
Team Stone joined the Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber of Commerce in the celebration and ribbon cutting for the new location of BMW of Murrieta. District Representative Debbie Herrera presented a certificate from Senator Stone.