It has been one week since the election. I was sworn in on Sunday, which is reported in the Daily Pilot piece at the bottom below.
I gave the County of Orange my Monday for a day long deposition for litigation that is in progress. On Tuesday, my wife and I loaded a SUV and drove up to Sacramento. I checked in yesterday evening and enjoyed my first full day today. I was welcomed by the Senate Minority Leader in the first piece below from the Orange County Breeze.
In my first session this afternoon, I had the privilege of voting on my first two bills. The Democrats were fast tracking both bills in order to show that something was being done concerning the drought. The printed bills were provided a couple of days ago and could not be amended.
Stating that the first bill, AB 91, was addressing the State’s urgent drought needs struck me as a misnomer. Of the $1 billion allocated to various water-related concerns, I could only find $27 million addressing the drought. And this amount was based on a liberal personal interpretation. Two-thirds of the total amount was focused on addressing flood protection needs (the opposite of a drought). This $660 million comes from general obligation bond proceeds, which means it will be paid by the State’s general fund, thus creating more debt and more principal and interest payment commitments.
Since this bill didn’t come close to its advertised intent, I cast a no vote. But, who can vote against something that is communicated as "drought relief?" I was the solitary "no" vote.
AB 92 establishes the Office of Sustainable Water Solutions. I did not come to Sacramento to create new bureaucracies. I’d like to eliminate a few of them. It also gave an inordinate amount of duties to the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DWR). While serving as a County Supervisor, the DWR was so thin and overburdened, it was nearly impossible to get them to even show up to critical meetings. I voted with my Republican colleagues in a 24-14 losing effort.
It only took my first two votes as a Senator to demonstrate how California got itself into deep financial debt, and exactly why we need more accountants and CPA’s in the State Capitol.
I will say that I received a warm welcome from my new colleagues. I also decided to observe the session and elected to not express my frustrations on the floor (give me time). But, window dressing is not my idea of leading. So, I dissented. Let’s hope there are bills that I can vote for in the months to come.
Two new Republican State Senators welcomed by Minority Leader Bob Huff
Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) officially welcomed two new Republican Senators to the State Senate Monday, fulfilling the promise of increasing Republican membership from twelve to fourteen members.
Former Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach was officially sworn into office during a ceremony in Orange County after winning a special election for the 37th Senate District. Senator Sharon Runner has already taken the oath of office, after winning a special election for the 21st Senate District.
“I want to congratulate Sharon Runner and John Moorlach for their special election victories and welcome them to our Republican Caucus,” said Senator Huff. “We will continue to bring balance to the Legislature so we can enact legislation and policies that serve the interests of all California families at all income levels.
For Senator Runner, her special election victory caps a triumphant return to the Senate chambers, where she served previously for two years. She also served in the State Assembly from 2002-2008.
“Having previously represented the communities of the 21st District in the California State Assembly and Senate, I am confident in my ability to be an effective voice for my constituents in Sacramento,” said Senator Runner. “I am humbled by the faith they have placed in me.”
Runner’s priorities in the Senate will focus on creating jobs, protecting taxpayers, and ensuring that public safety remains a top priority of government.
“I plan to hit the ground running and work hard towards the goals I have set forth,” said Senator Runner. ”I know the needs of the community and I am blessed by this opportunity to once again serve in the Legislature.”
Senator Moorlach is a certified public accountant and formally served as Treasurer of Orange County, helping the municipality recover from bankruptcy. He indicates he will bring key job creation strategies to the Capitol and will also serve as a fiscal voice of reason.
“I look forward to joining my colleagues in the fight for a healthier economic climate and a fiscally sound future for our state,” said Senator Moorlach.
Senator Huff serves as the Senate Republican Leader and represents the 29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties.
The article above was released by Senator Bob Huff.
Moorlach sworn in as state senator and ready to get started in Sacramento
By Bradley Zint
John Moorlach was officially sworn in Sunday as state senator for the 37th District after receiving more than 50% of the vote in last week’s special election and thereby avoiding a run-off in May.
The ceremony for Moorlach, a Costa Mesa Republican and former county supervisor, was held at the Orange County Rescue Mission in Tustin.
Sen. Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) officiated.
The March 17 election results were certified Friday. Moorlach received 38,125 votes, or 50.3%.
"I really want to thank the voters for giving me enough votes to finish in the first round," Moorlach said in an interview Monday. "I’m looking forward to trying to make this state a better place."
Assemblyman Don Wagner (R-Irvine) received 33,411 votes, or 44%. Behind the two men, both Republicans, were congressional aide Naz Namazi, a Republican Irvine resident, who got 2,621 votes, or 3.5%, and Louise Stewardson, a Democratic write-in candidate and nurse from Huntington Beach, who received 1,696, or 2.2%.
Voter turnout was 15.7%, or 77,147 ballots, of which about 66,000 were vote-by-mail.
Moorlach’s term lasts through December 2016. He replaces Mimi Walters, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives last year.
The 37th state Senate district includes Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach and portions of Huntington Beach.
Moorlach said he plans to travel to Sacramento this week to get acclimated. He said he is working on hiring his staff and finding a location for his 37th District office. He said he would like it to be in Costa Mesa.
Because his start date is just before the spring legislative recess, Moorlach said he will not be able to submit any legislation but will still have plenty to do.
"I see myself dealing with what’s already there and doing a lot of research on issues that I find to be hot-button topics," he said.
Those include controlling the costs of medical benefits for retired state employees and putting an end to the so-called underground economy — in which businesses do not report payroll information or follow workers’ compensation law — a topic recently explored by the Little Hoover Commission, an independent state oversight agency.
"I certainly have constituents here in my district that are concerned about that," Moorlach said. "We’re gonna try to level the playing field and make sure those who aren’t playing fairly are routed out and honest businesses aren’t going broke because of it."
Moorlach also plans to fight plans for a toll lane for portions of the 405 Freeway in Orange County and examine the complex issues surrounding sober-living homes — a particular source of frustration in Costa Mesa neighborhoods.
"I’ll be keeping my staff busy," Moorlach said.
This e-mail has been sent by Senator John M. W. Moorlach, 37th Senate District.