Pat's Perspective: April 2017

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Message from Pat

Dear Neighbor,

As you may know, I will succeed Senator Jean Fuller of Bakersfield to become the Republican Leader in the California State Senate on April 12th. I have big shoes to fill as Senator Fuller was the first woman to lead a party caucus in the history of the state Senate - Democrat or Republican. I will be the second.

I see my new role as leader as advocating for taxpayers who want a more efficient government, parents who want better schools and safer streets, and citizens who want their constitutional freedoms protected. These are priorities that can attract broad support in California.

While I will be taking on additional responsibilities in my new Senate role, I will continue to be a vigorous champion for the interests of South Orange and North San Diego counties. My staff and I are committed to serving all the residents of the district. While we may not agree on every issue, I remain committed to seeking common ground whenever possible.



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Transportation Funding Update

Stock photo representation of a gas pump and U.S. currency

Are you ready to pay the largest gas tax increase in state history? And massive increases in the diesel tax and vehicle license fee? These increases will be indexed for inflation so they will rise every year going forward.

The increases are part of a deal between Governor Jerry Brown and the Legislature’s majority party that will take effect soon. I opposed the deal as it punishes middle and low income drivers the most for Sacramento’s budget mistakes.

I have championed measures that would fix our roads without raising taxes, such as redirecting high-speed rail funding to desperately needed transportation projects. But those measures were quickly rejected.

In a state that already has some of the highest and most regressive transportation taxes, substantially increasing fees on the average motorist is difficult to justify to taxpayers. California already spends three times the national average on maintenance per mile of roadway, yet our roads rate among the nation’s worst in pavement condition and congestion. It is clear that we need smarter spending choices, not higher taxes.

This bad deal demonstrates that elections for state offices do matter.

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Veterans Update

Sen. Bates delivers remarks at a Capitol press conference on veterans
Sen. Bates delivers remarks at a Capitol press conference on veterans

On March 28th, I joined Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), legislative colleagues, and veterans for a press conference to discuss measures that will improve the quality of life for more veterans.

I discussed my bill with Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that would help build more medical facilities to care for wounded veterans and service members (SB 197). The Senate Governance and Finance Committee unanimously approved the bill on March 29th and is now pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Other measures introduced include:

  • Helping veterans find civilian jobs upon completing their service (SB 410, Nguyen)

  • Improving the state’s ability to care for veterans with mental illness (SB 409, Nguyen)

  • Rewarding state military reserve and naval militia for their continued service (SB 411, Nguyen)

  • Updating and improving the level of care provided by California’s eight veterans homes (SB 485, Sen. Jim Nielsen and Josh Newman)

  • Providing a voluntary veteran hiring preference for private employers (AB 353, Asm. Randy Voepel)

To view all of my 2017 legislation, click here.

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New Tax on Services?

Depiction of higher taxes

As if paying higher taxes and fees for your car and gas are not enough, there is now a proposal called Senate Bill 640 that would extend the state sales tax to some service-based industries.

A 2015 Board of Equalization study shows that extending the sales tax to all service-based industries would cost taxpayers as much as $123 billion in higher taxes each year. The new tax could be extended to industries such as health care, agriculture, construction, real estate, finance, transportation and warehousing, and various professional services, such as attorneys, accountants, hairstylists, car washes, and auto and shoe repair.

While there’s no “deal” yet between Governor Brown and the Legislature’s majority party on a new tax on services, the fact that a bill is already being considered sounds an alarm for all taxpayers.

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Small Business Seminar and Resource Expo

I am pleased to co-sponsor a FREE seminar and resource expo for small businesses on April 28 at Mission Viejo’s Civic Center from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sponsored by Diane Harkey, the chairwoman of the California State Board of Equalization, the event is designed to give entrepreneurs strategies for success in today’s economy. Click here for more information.

Small Business Seminar Flyer

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California “Through My Eyes” Photo Contest

Stock photo of a camera

Sacramento-based LegiSchool is now accepting entries for its “California Through My Eyes” photo contest.

LegiSchool is inviting high school students from around the state to step behind the camera lens and capture an image that represents California. First place winners receive $150 and four runners-up receive $100 each. Winners and honorable mentions will have their photos displayed at the State Capitol. More details can be found online at

Entry deadline is Friday, May 5, 2017.

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Community Spotlight: Ladera Ranch

Ladera Ranch Civic Council
Ladera Ranch. Photo Credit: Ladera Ranch Civic Council

Ladera Ranch is a planned community located in unincorporated South Orange County, just outside the city limits of San Juan Capistrano, Rancho Santa Margarita and Mission Viejo.

Its more than 23,000 residents enjoy numerous amenities such as parks, pools and hiking trails. Given its unincorporated status, Ladera Ranch is governed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors as part of the Fifth District. However, the community has a civic council that provides local input to Orange County governing boards.

Learn more about Ladera Ranch by visiting the “LaderaLife” 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?

Laguna Hills: Volunteer Connection Day

Date: Saturday, April 15
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. Join your neighbors for a day of community spirit, projects include city-wide trail clean up and tree planting ceremony in recognition of Arbor Day. Volunteers should wear comfortable clothing and tennis shoes.

Vista: Earth Day Festival

Date: Saturday, April 15
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Alta Vista Gardens in Brengle Terrace Park (1270 Vale Terrace Drive Vista, CA 92084)
About: Vendors will offer crafts for sale and share earth-friendly ideas. Event for all ages is free.

Dana Point: Community Shred Day

Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Monarch Bay Plaza parking lot (32840 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: Shred your sensitive documents for free!

Laguna Niguel: Earth Day Celebration

Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Crown Valley Community Park (29751 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: “Go Green” and volunteer to plant, weed and clean up the Niguel Botanical Preserve.

Mission Viejo: Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration

Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Mustang Run at Los Alisos Boulevard, Mission Viejo
About: The city is looking for volunteers to plant drought-tolerant trees and shrubs and assist with litter clean up. A Green Expo will be held on Mustang Run with free hotdogs and ice cream for participants (while supplies last).

Oceanside: Days of Art

Date: April 22 and 23
Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Corner of Coast Highway and Pier View Way, Oceanside
About: Festival featuring more than 100 local artists selling unique artwork. Free admission.

San Clemente: Earth Day

Date: Saturday, April 22
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Parque Del Mar (622 Avenida Del Mar, 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! This free community event features live music, kid’s arts and crafts, educational displays, demonstrations and artists.

Encinitas: 6th Annual Encinitas Arts Festival

Date: Sunday, April 23
Time: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: San Dieguito Academy Performing Arts Center (800 Santa Fe Dr, Encinitas, CA 92024)
About: Music, theatre and dance performances, artist expo, student art exhibit, performance art, workshops and food trucks. Admission to the event is FREE!

Rancho Santa Margarita: Electronic Waste and Document Shredding Event

Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: City Hall Parking Lot (22112 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
About: Safely and responsibly dispose of obsolete electronic waste and prevent identity theft during this “spring cleaning” opportunity.

San Juan Capistrano: E-Waste & Document Shredding Event

Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: City Hall Parking Lot (32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675)
About: Dispose e-waste and sensitive documents safety at this event.

Aliso Viejo: Soka University International Festival

Date: Saturday, May 6
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Soka University (1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA, 92656)
About: Enjoy 900 musicians and dancers performing on four stages, and over 250 non-profit, craft and business exhibitors. Free admission.

Carlsbad: Village Street Faire

Date: Sunday, May 7
Time: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Grand Avenue from Carlsbad Boulevard to Jefferson Street, and all of the cross streets in between.
About: North County’s favorite street fair is returning to The Village. The streets will come alive with the sights and smells of fair-time as 800 vendors set up unique booths, fairgoers search for handmade gifts, try mouthwatering foods, and have some fun in the sun.

Aliso Viejo: Shredding & E-Waste Collection Event

Date: Saturday, June 10
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Soka University, Parking Lot A
About: Residents can bring up to 10 standard file boxes (10”x 12”x15”) or paper grocery bags per household to shred. There will also be an opportunity to dispose of e-waste.

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 many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:

  • Honored San Clemente High School’s football team inside the Senate’s chamber for winning its first state football championship. Head Coach Jaime Ortiz (2nd left) and players Brandon Reaves (holding a resolution) and Turner Tonkovich (2nd right) represented the team. Senators John Moorlach (left) and Janet Nguyen (right) are also pictured.

    Watch my remarks and read the Orange County Register’s article on the Tritons’ trip to Sacramento here. Photo Credit: Lorie Shelley, CA State Senate.

Sen. Bates honoring football students inside the Senates Chambers

  • Co-sponsored the annual Veterans Resource Fair with Assemblyman Bill Brough at Saddleback College. This year’s fair featured a softball game between legislators and veterans with disabilities. Asm. Brough and I presented a check to the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team to support its mission of helping veterans.

Veterans Resource Fair
Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team

  • Toured the Scripps Health Proton Therapy Center in San Diego. The center provides some of the world’s best doctors and the most advanced equipment to treat cancer patients. I’m committed to ensuring that California remains at the forefront of biotechnology and health care.

Scripps Health Proton Therapy Center

  • Hosted a discussion in Carlsbad with North San Diego County elected officials and local leaders on a range of issues including housing and transportation.

Sen. Bates with officials in Carlsbad

  • Attended the 59th annual Swallows Day Parade in San Juan Capistrano. From left to right, I’m pictured with Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Asm. Bill Brough and Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens.

Sen. Bates at the 59th Swallows Day Parade

  • Conveyed my best wishes to Iranian Americans celebrating Nowruz at a Capitol event. “Nowruz” means “New Day” and is the name of the Iranian New Year. I support the call for a free and prosperous Iran for all its people.

Sen. Bates celebrating Norwuz

  • Met with advocates of UC Irvine and UC San Diego and discussed the importance of protecting opportunities for all students.

    UC Irvine:
    Sen. Bates with UC Irvine students

    UC San Diego:
    Sen. Bates with UC San Diego students

  • Hosted a successful Senior Day event in Mission Viejo. More than 500 seniors attended, taking advantage of free medical screenings and breakout sessions such as smartphone training by AT&T and self defense. I’m pictured with UC Irvine’s Dr. Susan Tiso. Click here to see more photos.

Sen. Bates at Senior Day

  • Delivered a legislative update to the Vista Chamber of Commerce at its “Meet the Leaders” event. I’m with Ron Briseno, the chair of the Vista Chamber; and Diane Harkey, the chair of the California Board of Equalization.

Sen. Bates at Meet the Leaders event

  • Met an alpaca at a Capitol event celebrating California’s agricultural heritage.

Sen. Bates meets an Alpaca

  • And more!

On my behalf, my staff also:

  • Commemorated the grand opening of The Game Chest in Mission Viejo. Joey Ruggiero (right) represented me at the presentation.

Sen. Bates at The Game Chest

  • Attended the North County Latino Business Showcase in Oceanside.
  • Participated in a legislative briefing of the Orange County Transportation Authority.
  • Attended a health care summit in Anaheim.
  • Attended the Encinitas State of the City address.
  • And more!


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