Pat's Perspective: April 2016

Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Message from Pat

Dear Friends,

The arrival of Spring signifies the arrival of baseball, more daylight and for me, long committee hearings at the State Capitol.

Don’t get me wrong - I look forward to these hearings, as studying bills and hearing testimony on them are the foundation of being an effective senator. My goal during these hearings is to ask the right questions to get to the heart of each bill and to cast informed votes. Besides considering legislation from others, I will also be presenting my own, which you can learn more about in the next section.

Finally, in an effort to better connect with you, I am pleased to announce updates to my Senate website at The most important change is that my website can now be easily viewed on your smartphone. Other updates include revamped resource pages for kids and military veterans. If you have suggestions on how I can better serve you, please let me know!



Legislative Update

Image of CA State Senate Chambers
California State Senate Chambers

From now until mid-May, the Legislature’s committees will consider and vote on thousands of bills. The latest updates on my bills can be found below. Please note that committee hearing dates and times are subject to change.

  • SB 1183: provides a property tax exemption for “100 percent” disabled veterans and their spouses. Status: To be heard in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on April 12 at 1:30 p.m.

  • SB 1249: repeals the law limiting the amount of money schools can save for emergencies. Status: To be heard in the Senate Education Committee on April 20 at 9 a.m.

  • SB 1283: requires the state to license and regulate sober living homes. Status: To be heard in the Senate Health Committee on April 20 at 1:30 p.m.

  • SB 1323: combats the illegal distribution of fentanyl, which drug cartels use as a cheap substitute for heroin. Status: Approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee on April 5. Will be heard next by the Senate Appropriations Committee in the near future.

  • SB 1415: fast-tracks water supply projects when the governor proclaims a state of emergency. Status: In the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.

  • SB 1467: tightens restrictions regarding candidate-controlled ballot measure committees. The bill is in response to the issues raised by the corrupt activities of former Senator Leland Yee. Status: to be heard in the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee on April 19 at 1:30 p.m.

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Minimum Wage

Not Hiring sign

Governor Brown recently signed a bill that will raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in California by 2022.

Over the past several days, I have heard from many constituents and small business owners worried about how the new law will affect them. Many said that while the law may help some in the short-term, raising the minimum wage by 50 percent will eventually force many small businesses to make some tough choices - reduce hours, lay off workers, raise prices - or all three.

With businesses already struggling to comply with the Affordable Care Act, higher workers’ compensation premiums and other costly mandates, some may have little choice but to reduce workers or move out of the state.

As the Governor’s own Department of Finance once wrote, “minimum wage laws are not free.” This bill will also significantly increase the state’s budget costs by at least $4 billion by 2021. The impact on private sector employers will be even larger.

When this bill is fully implemented, we may see the unintended consequences of fewer entry-level jobs for people with limited skills and experience, and higher budget costs for taxpayers.

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Sober Living Homes

generic sober living home image

My office receives inquiries from time to time regarding sober living homes.

These homes are intended to help those recovering from alcohol and substance abuse. I am well aware of the presence of these homes as there is at least one in my own neighborhood. I share the concerns that residents have relative to the impact on a neighborhood’s quality-of-life.

Since I was sworn into the Senate in December 2014, I have engaged in numerous conversations with concerned residents, local government officials, members of Congress and others to consider the issues relating to sober living homes.

Laguna Niguel Mayor Laurie Davies and the League of California Cities - Orange County were instrumental in initiating a recent meeting discussing the issues concerning sober living homes. I participated in that meeting, in which current legal and regulatory issues were presented.

A key issue remains that people who are recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction are afforded legal privileges by being classified as “disabled” under federal law. I have introduced a bill that creates accountability and oversight for sober living homes. I am also co-authoring bills that other members of the Legislature have introduced.

For more information about sober living homes and my efforts on the issue, please click here.

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Public Service Opportunities

Image of Tax Form

Government cannot work efficiently without your input. The opportunities below give you a chance make your voice heard on the issues you care about most.

San Diego County Seeking Citizens to Serve on Boards and Commissions
Click here to view a list of opportunities about serving on boards, commissions and committees in the government of San Diego County.

Recruitment Now Open For CalOptima Board of Directors
A county-organized health system, CalOptima serves more than 770,000 low-income children, adults, seniors and persons with disabilities. CalOptima was formed in 1995 in response to a healthcare system that was struggling to meet the needs of vulnerable Orange County residents.

To apply for a seat on the CalOptima Board of Directors, please complete an application by April 15, 2016. Applications can be found on the Health Care Agency’s website at

OCTA Seeks Applicants for Measure M Taxpayer Oversight Committee
The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is seeking qualified volunteers to serve on the Measure M Taxpayer Oversight Committee (TOC).

The eleven-member committee monitors OCTA’s use of Measure M funds and ensures that all revenue collected from both Measure M1 (M1) and the Renewed Measure M2 (M2) is spent on voter-approved transportation projects. Applications for the 2016-2019 term will be accepted through May 2, 2016 to fill four positions; one each in the First, Third, Fourth and Fifth Supervisorial Districts.

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Scripps Encinitas Expands Surgical Department

Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas

Good news for residents of North San Diego County: Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas recently expanded its surgical services department.

Additions include two new state-of-the-art operating rooms, a renovated pathology workroom and more. You can learn more about the expansion by clicking here.

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Saddleback’s Speech and Debate Team

Saddleback College’s Dante Johnson competing at the recent Speech and Debate State Championships
Saddleback College’s Dante Johnson competing at the recent Speech and Debate State Championships

Congratulations to Saddleback College’s speech and debate team for taking sixth place overall (out of 33 schools) at the 2016 CCCFA State Championship Tournament!

The competition, held March 18 in the Northern California city of Concord, featured the state’s best debaters. Saddleback is located in Mission Viejo and its debate team is preparing to compete at the 2016 Phi Rho Pi National tournament in Costa Mesa from April 4 to 9.

For a complete list of Saddleback’s winners, click here. For more information about the speech and debate team, click here.

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Community Spotlight: Dana Point

Dana Point Harbor
Dana Point Harbor

Located in South Orange County, the City of Dana Point is home to more than 34,000 people. Halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, the city prides itself with nearly seven miles of coastal bluffs and rolling hills along the Pacific Ocean.

One of the city’s most prominent features is its fabulous harbor, which is one of the most beautiful places in the 36th Senate District. The harbor is home to the Ocean Institute, which educates 250,000 visitors annually through its marine science and maritime history programs.

The city is named after Richard Henry Dana, Jr., a lawyer, seaman and author of the classic sea journal, Two Years Before the Mast. His writings document the voyage from Boston around Cape Horn to California on the merchant ship, Pilgrim, and describe the area now known as Dana Point as “the most romantic spot on the California Coast.” I recently participated as a reader in the annual reading of Two Years Before the Mast as shown in the picture below.

Image of Senator Bates reading

Learn more about Dana Point by visiting its government website at, its tourism website at and its chamber of commerce website at

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Upcoming Events

The events below are just a sample of what’s happening in our beautiful district. Do you have an event that you would like me to include in my newsletter? Please let me know by sending me a message on my website.

Mission Viejo: Community Health Fair

Date: Saturday, April 9
Time: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center (24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692)
About: Companies and organizations will showcase their healthy options and services to the public. Spring clean your lifestyle and get back on track to living a healthy life.

Aliso Viejo: Aliso Viejo Chamber and Laguna Beach Chamber Golf Tournament

Date: Monday, April 11
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Aliso Viejo Country Club (33 Santa Barbara Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656)
About: 18 holes of golf, breakfast, snacks, lunch, cocktails and a celebration dinner.

Laguna Hills: Advance Care Planning

Date: Tuesday, April 12
Time: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Location: Laguna Hills Health & Rehabilitation Center (24452 Health Center Drive, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: This FREE Community Education Class will discuss how you can anticipate and identify your wishes, and ensure those wishes are honored.
More Information: 949.757.3776

Irvine: Alzheimer’s Seminar

Date: Thursday, April 14
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Alzheimer’s Orange County (2515 McCabe Way, Irvine, CA 92614)
About: Learn first-hand how to effectively help, communicate with, and create a better quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia.
More Information: Contact Maria Kauten at

Laguna Hills: Volunteer Connection Day

Date: Saturday, April 16
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Community Center & Sports Complex (25555 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: Make a difference in your community this April by participating in the City of Laguna Hills’ annual Volunteer Connection Day. It is a wonderful experience to dedicate time supporting your City, so join us for a day of community spirit. Projects include City-wide trail clean-up, shredding event and tree planting ceremony in recognition of Arbor Day.

Laguna Niguel: High School Job & College Fair

Date: Saturday, April 16
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: City Hall (30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Meet potential employers and learn about part-time job opportunities. Meet representatives from local colleges, universities and trade schools, and ask questions about their organizations, application process, and costs for attending. Organized by the Laguna Niguel Youth Committee.

Oceanside: Earth Festival

Date: Saturday, April 16
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Tremont St. and Pier View Way, Oceanside
About: This is an Earth Day celebration located in downtown Oceanside including free and exciting environmental attractions for everyone, a children’s eco-zone, vintage market, home improvement vendors and much more. Sponsored by City of Oceanside - Green Oceanside.
More Information: 760.435.5021

San Juan Capistrano: The Ecology Center’s Spring Festival

Date: Saturday, April 16
Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: 32701 Alipaz Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
About: A family-friendly celebration of harvest, gardening and a more abundant future.

Rancho Santa Margarita/Laguna Hills: Being Mortal Screening & Conversation Cafe™ with Expert Panel

Date: April 21 (Rancho Santa Margarita), June 2 (Laguna Hills)
Time and Location:
About: A free screening and expert panel discussion of the PBS FRONTLINE film “Being Mortal.” This groundbreaking film follows Dr. Atul Gawande, as a doctor and a son, as he explores the hopes of people facing terminal illness and their relationships with the doctors who care for them.
More Information: 949.757.3776

Laguna Niguel: Earth Day Celebration

Date: Saturday, April 23
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Crown Valley Park, Botanical Preserve (29751 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: “Go Green” and volunteer to plant, weed and clean up the Niguel Botanical Preserve. Celebrate Earth Day by giving back you time to improve the landscaping in our 18-acre preserve. Volunteers should wear old clothing and be prepared to get in the dirt! Drinking water and light snacks provided.

Mission Viejo: Earth Day & Arbor Day Celebration

Date: Saturday, April 23
Time: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Mustang Run at Los Alisos
About: The City of Mission Viejo will celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day on Saturday, April 23rd, on Mustang Run at Los Alisos. The City will host a Green Expo, and free hotdogs and ice cream (while supplies last) will be available for volunteers. Volunteers interested in landscape renovation should bring a hat, gloves, boots, sunscreen, and shovels and must register for this event.

Oceanside: World Music Concert

Date: Saturday, April 23
Time: 1 p.m.
Location: Civic Center Library Community Room (330 North Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054)
About: Jarabe Mexicano takes its name from the Spanish reference to traditional forms of Mariachi music. The ensemble incorporates the diversity of their backgrounds and musical training into a vast Latin repertoire that includes traditional Boleros, Huapangos, Sones and Rancheras, as well as contemporary Cumbias, Reggae, Doo Wop and American Standards.
Free and for all ages.
More Information: 760.435.5571

Vista: Creek to Bay Cleanup

Date: Saturday, April 23
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Buena Creek
About: The City of Vista, in partnership with I Love a Clean San Diego, is hosting a cleanup at Buena Creek. City of Vista Stormwater and Public Works staff be hosting the Buena Creek site, and will meet volunteers at the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot at Shadowridge Drive and Sycamore Avenue.

Carlsbad: The Wings of Freedom Tour

Date: April 28 - May 1
Location: McClelland Palomar Airport Carlsbad
About: Ranked as one of the U.S.’s Top 10 Iconic Races, the Carlsbad 5000 features a fast and fun seaside course where 16 world records have been set. Both rookie runners and serious speedsters alike enjoy running or walking in one of seven people’s races.

San Clemente: Summer Camp Palooza

Date: Saturday, April 30
Time: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: San Clemente Aquatics Center (987 Avenida Vista Hermosa, San Clemente, CA 92673)
About: Catch the last early bird savings before full price summer camps roll out. Plus, enjoy complimentary recreation swim (event day only) when you sign-up for a summer camp during the Palooza.

Dana Point: Grand Prix Sport & Family Festival

Date: April 30 and May 1
Location: Dana Point Lantern District (Del Prado Avenue, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: This year’s events will include a 1K Family Fun Run/Walk and the Killer Cove 5K Challenge Run, a nighttime “Light up the Lantern” fun bike parade of lights along Del Prado, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley Youth Bike Events with Kids Zone activities, live music, food, and beverages throughout the day & evening, and a Del Prado Expo Village Festival during both days of the event.

San Clemente: Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Date: Sunday, May 1
Time: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Max Berg Plaza Park (1100 Calle Puente, San Clemente, CA 92672)
About: The Fiesta is in its 26th year of celebrating Mexican culture in the Spanish Village by the Sea. The program features live entertainment from the traditional Mariachi’s and Ballet Folklorico to Cumbias, Tex Mex, and Salsa dancers. Partake in the scrumptious authentic Mexican food fare, bring your children to participate in game booths, face painting and other activities for the little ones.

Aliso Viejo: Soka University’s Annual International Festival

Date: Saturday, May 7
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Soka University (1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656)
About: The Festival, which is part of Orange County’s Imagination Celebration, features international food, over 900 dancers and musicians on four stages, art exhibitions, ceramic sales and demonstrations, games, inflatable rides and over 250 non-profit and business exhibitors. Admission is free.

Encinitas: Encinitas Station Farmers Market

Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Downtown Encinitas - 600 S Vulcan Avenue, 92024
About: The market is comprised of 40+ vendors selling local farm fresh produce, specialty meats and cheeses, and flowers in addition to an array of artisan products including breads and gluten-free goods. There will even be gelato to cure that sweet tooth!

Rancho Santa Margarita: Free Blood Pressure Screening

Date: Every Tuesday
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Bell Tower Regional Community Center (22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
More Information: 949.216.9700

San Juan Capistrano: Farmers Market

Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. (spring and summer)
Location: Yorba Street between El Camino Real and Camino Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano
About: The Old Capistrano Certified Farmers Market promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products to shoppers.

Note: While my office strives to include accurate information at the time of publication, events are subject to change by the organizers/sponsors.

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36th District Highlights

In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:

  • Helped facilitate a discussion on “Sober Living Homes” with stakeholders at a League of California Cities meeting in Irvine. Those participating included concerned residents, local government officials, Assembly Members Bill Brough and Matthew Harper, and Congressman Dana Rohrabacher.

1st picture of 36th District Highlights

  • Co-hosted “Senior Day” in Mission Viejo with Assembly Member Bill Brough. This event provided information and resources to seniors and their families. The Orange County Register wrote about the event and has more photos that you can view here.

2nd picture of 36th District Highlights 2nd picture of 36th District Highlights

  • Participated in the San Juan Capistrano Swallows Day Parade. I’m pictured with Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and her husband, Larry (left).

3rd picture of 36th District Highlights

  • Met former astronaut Sandy Magnus (2nd from left) at California Aerospace Day at the State Capitol. Senators Jean Fuller and Sharon Runner are to the right in the picture. Sandy is currently the Executive Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

4th picture of 36th District Highlights

  • Participated in a legislative hearing titled “Women in Aerospace and Engineering: Exploring Challenges and Opportunities for Women in the STEM Fields.”

5th picture of 36th District Highlights>

  • Visited the “Ag Day” exhibit in front of the State Capitol. Thank you to California’s farmers, ranchers and agricultural workers for their hard work to feed the world. If you like food, then you like Ag!

6th picture of 36th District Highlights 6th picture of 36th District Highlights

  • Honored Kaiya, a 4th grader in the City of Oceanside. She was recognized at the State Capitol for being one of the state winners of the “Imagine This” writing contest sponsored by the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom.

image of Kaiya and Senator Bates

  • Congratulated Bethany on becoming a new U.S. citizen. She was part of a group of young immigrants who took their oath of citizenship at a special ceremony in the Senate Chamber. The new citizens range in age from 10 to 21 and emigrated from 12 countries.

image of Bethany and Senator Bates

  • Met with Orange County representatives of the Financial Planning Association of California.

image of FPA reps with Senator Bates

  • Met with members of the Recreational Boaters of California.

image of Senator Bates at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Awards and Installation dinner

  • Attended the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Awards and Installation dinner.

  • Attended Encinitas Mayor Kristin Gaspar’s State of the City Address.

  • And much more!

On my behalf, my office staff also:

  • Visited UC Irvine to learn more about its research into Alzheimer’s Disease and the innovative work being done at the National Fuel Cell Research Center. My Orange County District Director, Erik Weigand, is pictured below.

Image District Director Erik Weigand at UC Irvine Image District Director Erik Weigand at UC Irvine

  • Participated in the ribbon cutting of Family Assistance Ministries’ new satellite office in San Juan Capistrano with SJC Mayor Pro Tem Kerry Ferguson (center) and representatives from the offices of Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Assembly Member Bill Brough and Congressman Darrell Issa. My Orange County Field Representative, Kristy Khachigian, is pictured second from right.

Image of ribbon cutting

  • Went to the Goodwill Industries of San Diego County annual recognition lunch.

  • Forged connections at a BIOCOM legislative staff reception in San Diego.

  • Attended San Juan Capistrano Mayor Pam Patterson’s State of the City Address.

  • Attended a Cybersecurity and Identy Protection Town Hall meeting hosted by Congresswoman Mimi Walters in Mission Viejo.

  • Represented me at the groundbreaking ceremony for Heroes Hall, the new veterans museum at the Orange County Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa.

  • Presented a certificate recognizing the dedication of the Mitch Waller Memorial Highway on Interstate 405 in Irvine.

  • And much more!

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Connect on Social Media

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To learn more about my work in the Senate, please “follow” me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook.

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

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