April means committee season is in full swing at the State Capitol! This is a time when legislative committees meet to consider thousands of bills, from the mundane to the controversial.
I sit on five Senate standing committees, so it will be a very busy time reading up on bills and meeting with stakeholders. You can learn more about the committees that I serve on by visiting my website, where you can also voice your opinion on legislation that is of interest to you. My goal is to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each bill and consider the best interests of our district and state.
As the drought that has gripped California for four years continues to worsen, water restrictions around the state have expanded as every drop of water needs to be saved whenever possible.
The Legislature took some important actions last month to address the drought. Unfortunately, it was more of a case of taking two steps forward and taking one step back.
I voted for bipartisan legislation (Assembly Bill 91) to provide important short-term relief for drought stricken communities, where the lack of water has resulted in massive job losses. This measure, which the Governor signed, provides $1.1 billion in funding from various sources including $660 million from the voter-approved Proposition 1E of 2006 and $268 million from last year’s Proposition 1 water bond.
These funds will be used for water efficiency, water quality, and drought assistance relief. AB 91 also provides money to explore desalination. Desalinated water is especially important for coastal California cities, which I recently wrote about in a U-T San Diego op-ed.
Unfortunately, I could not vote for another drought-related measure (Assembly Bill 92). It grants new emergency powers that could violate the constitutional rights of California families and will not result in an additional drop of water for people.
For example, it provides the Department of Fish and Wildlife with the authority to impose penalties of up to $8,000 per day, per violation of laws that prevent impeding fish passing up and downstream. This is a recipe for abuse as it makes the department the judge, jury, and executioner for these types of penalties. Unfortunately, the Governor signed AB 92 into law.
While the government cannot make it rain, as the Governor continues to point out, it can ensure that it does not make the drought worse with misguided policies. There is still a lot of work to be done for drought relief and I will continue to do what I can to ensure that our communities have the water they need.
This month, I will be presenting my bills to the relevant legislative committees.
One of particular importance would improve the lives of families by helping them escape the terrible cycle of poverty. Senate Bill 659 would provide funding for innovative programs that are designed to guide, counsel, and teach families how to transform their lives.
California has 12 percent of the nation’s population, but has 37 percent of the nation’s welfare caseload. Despite the high levels of welfare spending, California’s welfare caseload and poverty levels are persistently higher than the nation. It is clear that California must try new approaches to help more families move out of poverty. SB 659 offers an opportunity for the state to try a different approach other than simply throwing more money at the failing status quo.
SB 659 takes steps to provide long-term support for CalWORKs families in crisis. Specifically, this measure:
Provides for a five-year pilot project that funds innovative programs that help families receiving welfare benefits to achieve economic independence, focusing on mental health and substance abuse services, employment and parenting skills training, as well as providing housing and child care.
Creates opportunities for parents to develop the skills necessary to increase their income and achieve financial stability by providing access to education and training programs that prepare them for today’s jobs, while ensuring the child’s well-being.
Requires a focus on outcomes by including an ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the pilot programs to determine best practices and guide future funding decisions.
To learn more about my 2015 legislative package, please visit my website.
San Clemente State Beach Visitor Center. Photo Credit: CA State Parks
I’m pleased to announce two pieces of good news for state parks in the 36th Senate District!
First, the California State Parks Foundation has given $10,000 to support recreational, educational, and environmental stewardship youth outings in parks such as Carlsbad State Beach, San Clemente State Beach, San Elijo State Beach, and San Onofre State Beach.
Since 1969, the foundation has raised more than $223 million to benefit state parks and it is the only statewide independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing, and advocating for California’s state parks.
Second, the California Coastal Conservancy recently approved a $150,000 grant to the City of Encinitas for the development of the Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline Conceptual Plan.
This project develops a plan for eight acres of beach dune restoration at Cardiff. It will restore valuable habitat and protect a vulnerable segment of Coast Highway.
Thank you to the California State Parks Foundation and the California Coastal Conservancy for their support of our parks!
Almost 200 residents of Carlsbad and surrounding North San Diego County communities descended upon the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort and Spa on March 26 to learn directly from Facebook staff, local educators, and law enforcement on how to stay safe online, making my Facebook Online Safety Seminar a resounding success.
Given that young people are often more skilled on using social media than their parents, the seminar helped give parents the tools they need to keep their families safe - both online and off. I’m thrilled that so many residents attended and asked important questions. I believe our communities are made safer when we know what’s available to prevent online threats from becoming real life tragedies.
You can learn more about the event and the issue of online safety from stories filed by the U-T San Diego.
I delivered opening remarks at the Facebook Online Safety Seminar in Carlsbad.
I moderated a panel on “Are Parents Responsible for What Their Children Post Online” with panelists (seated L to R) Juan Salazar, Associate Manager of State Policy at Facebook; Michele Linley, Deputy District Attorney and Juvenile Division Chief for San Diego County; Suzette Lovely, Superintendent of the Carlsbad Unified School District; and Patrick Fanene, Carlsbad Police School Resource Officer.
Pleased to present Carole Allen with a Senate resolution recognizing her as my “Woman of the Year.”
Congratulations to Carole Allen, who is my Orange County 36th Senate District Woman of the Year.
Allen is a longtime resident of Laguna Niguel and has taught at Crown Valley Elementary School for 37 years. She developed a “History of Laguna Niguel” teaching lesson for third grade students, which was approved by the Orange County Superintendent of Schools for presentation to Laguna Niguel’s third grade classes.
Currently, Allen is a member of the Laguna Niguel Military Support Committee where she supports the city’s adopted military units including the First Battalion, Fourth Marines, and the USS Stockdale.
To learn more about Carole’s fabulous community work, please visit my website.
April is Donate Life California Month.
California ranks first among all states with more than 22,000 men, women, and children on the organ transplant waiting list. In Orange and San Diego Counties alone, there are almost 2,700 people on that list.
Behind these statistics are real people whose lives will change for the better if they can receive the transplant they need. One such example is Melissa Cappuccilli, a heart transplant recipient who lives in Carlsbad. She’s also a nurse at the new hospital at Camp Pendleton and completed the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon in January, just a year and two months after her transplant!
You can help us in our fight to give more people like Melissa hope that they will get their second chance at life.
Please consider signing up as an organ and tissue donor at: http://donatelifecalifornia.org/senatorbates/
Thank you for your consideration!
The five San Diego North County cities of Carlsbad, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista have launched Innovate78, a branding and economic development initiative to collectively promote the 78 Corridor as a magnet for talent, companies, and investment.
Home to more than 600,000 residents and 20,000 innovative businesses, the initiative will continue to fuel regional job creation. Please visit its website at Innovate78.com to learn more about this unique opportunity to create jobs and grow North County’s economy.
Dana Point: California Wine Festival - Orange County
Date: April 17 & 18
Location: Laguna Cliffs Marriott (April 17) and Lantern Bay Park (April 18)
About: Experience the quintessential California wine tasting and enjoy hundreds of California’s finest vintage wines, delicious gourmet foods samples and lively music in Dana Point.
Dana Point: Free Community Shred Day
Date: Saturday, April 18
Time: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: 28 Monarch Bay Plaza, Dana Point, CA 92629 (Pacific Coast Highway at Crown Valley Parkway)
About: Shred your sensitive documents and know that the cross-cut remnants will be recycled. Services provided by Paper Recycling & Shredding Specialists - licensed/bonded/insured. On-site destruction takes only minutes.
San Clemente: Earth Day
Date: Saturday, April 18
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Parque Del Mar / Pier, San Clemente, CA 92672
About: Join the City of San Clemente and the Watershed Task Force as they organize a day of educational information about how everyone can make a difference in reducing litter, and pollutants which end up in our streets, storm drains, and eventually our beaches, and ocean!
Vista: 2015 Vista Bike Rodeo
Date: April 18
Time: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Vista Civic Center (200 Civic Center Dr, Vista, CA 92084)
About: Come enjoy a full bike rodeo course for kids, information tips with safety tips, a bike show, and more at this fun event.
Santa Ana: Orange County DA’s Victims’ Rights March & Rally
Date: Friday, April 24
Time: 9:30 a.m. (reception), 10:30 a.m. (march), 11 a.m. (rally)
Location: Orange County District Attorney’s Office (401 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana, CA 92701) and Old Orange County Courthouse (211 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, CA 92701)
About: The march and rally will honor victims of crime and recognize strides made for victims’ rights over the past decade.
More Information: 714.834.3600
Carlsbad: Celebrate Carlsbad Day™ at LEGOLAND® California
Date: Saturday, April 25
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: LEGOLAND (One LEGOLAND Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92009)
About: LEGOLAND will donate a portion of the event proceeds to the Carlsbad Educational Foundation to support district-wide science initiatives for students at all Carlsbad Unified School District Schools. LEGOLAND will also donate hundreds of free field trip admission tickets to Carlsbad students for hands-on science field trips.
Carlsbad: Street Faire
Date: Sunday, May 3
Time: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Village of Carlsbad
About: More than 100,000 people will take in the beauty of Carlsbad while browsing through unique booths, indulging in delectable eats and enjoying family entertainment when the largest one-day street faire returns in May.
San Diego: Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin
Date: Thursday, May 7
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: The Joan and Irwin Jacobs Music Center, Copley Symphony Hall (750 B Street, San Diego, CA 92101)
About: I am proud to be an Honorary Committee Member for the Anti-Defamation League San Diego’s presentation of the Defiant Requiem. This is a moving multi-media concert-drama revealing the powerful story of Holocaust prisoners and a contemporary message of hope.
Vista: Free Health Screening Day
Date: Saturday, May 30
Time: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Kaplan College Vista Campus (2022 University Drive, Vista, CA 92083)
About: The screening offers FREE health tests such as cholesterol and blood sugar, refurbished eyeglasses, dental exams, and much more.
More Information: For more information, please call 1.800.206.3971
Do you have an event that you would like me to consider including in my newsletter? Please let me know by sending me a message on my website.
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:
Met with Farmers Insurance representatives from the district to hear their perspective on state issues (pictured above)
Delivered remarks at the Vista Chamber of Commerce’s “Meet the Leaders Dinner”
Attended the State of the Judiciary Address delivered by the Chief Justice of California, Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Delivered remarks in the Senate Chamber honoring the memory of Kathleen Blackburn, a former mayor of Laguna Beach
Held conference calls with MemorialCare and others regarding San Clemente Hospital
On my behalf, my office staff also:
Attended the Escondido Chamber of Commerce’s presentation of a new economic study on energy costs and state energy policies affecting the San Diego region
Participated in the San Diego Strong Workforce Town Hall - California Community Colleges Task Force on Job Creation
Attended the Cesar Chavez Community Breakfast
Participated in the Veterans Access to Higher Education event
Attended the San Diego North Economic Development Council’s Economic Summit
Presented certificates honoring three heroes who saved the life of a Mission Viejo resident
Presented a certificate at a ribbon cutting for Tutu School, in Laguna Niguel
Attended the California Public Utilities Commission hearing on San Diego Gas & Electric’s San Juan Capistrano/San Clemente Substation Upgrade
To contact me, you can send a message on my website or mail a letter to:
Senator Patricia Bates
State Capitol, Room 4048
Sacramento, California 95814