The Legislature’s committees are in full swing and there is a lot going on at the State Capitol. Here are some of the issues I am working on:
The Orange County Register recently published my thoughts on addressing gun violence. While it is not easy to find common ground on solutions, I hope we can agree that removing guns from high-risk individuals with criminal histories and mental health challenges should be a top priority. Click here to read the op-ed.
The San Diego Union-Tribune also published my commentary on why I authored a bill to prevent further voter registration problems at the DMV. With the DMV dealing with many issues, having people question the integrity of our election system should not be one of them. Click here to read the commentary.
I also discussed the latest efforts to address concerns regarding sober living homes with The Coast News Group. Click here to read the article.
Additional updates on other issues can be found in this newsletter. As always, please contact one of my offices if my staff and I can be of assistance.
California State Capitol
The Senate Public Safety Committee blocked SB 161 that would help protect Californians from the dangers of a synthetic opioid called fentanyl. It would increase penalties for fentanyl trafficking equal to those for trafficking heroin and cocaine. I authored the bill in partnership with Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes. Click here to learn more.
However, the committee did approve SB 283 that would require law enforcement to drug test in cases of fatalities occurring within 48 hours of a traffic collision. It will provide law enforcement more information on how to best reduce further collisions.
Click here to learn more about the bills I’ve authored this year.
The decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Photo Credit: Southern California Edison.
Removing the nuclear waste at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is a top priority for our region. Here are the latest developments:
- I’ve authored SB 465 to ensure that local governments continue to receive funding for offsite emergency response planning, training, and exercises related to SONGS.
- The California State Lands Commission on March 21 approved an environmental report that will allow Southern California Edison to start dismantling much of SONGS’ offshore infrastructure. The commission also promised to help urge Congress and the federal government to find a permanent home for the nation’s nuclear waste. Click here to learn more.
As you may know, Governor Newsom recently announced that he has suspended California’s death penalty.
I oppose the Governor’s decision because it defies the will of the people. In 2016, more than 53 percent of California’s voters rejected Proposition 62 that would have repealed the death penalty. In fact, at the same time they rejected Prop. 62, the voters approved Prop. 66 to speed up the enforcement of the death penalty.
Our representative government works best when it is of, by, and for the people. This means our elected representatives must be accountable to the will of the people, not the other way around.
If the Governor wants to end the death penalty the right way, he should place that choice before the people in another ballot measure and make his case, rather than governing by fiat and upending laws put in place by the people.
The Orange County Transportation Authority is recruiting members of the public for its Taxpayer Oversight Committee and its Citizens Advisory Committee. Applications are accepted through May 1, 2019. Click on the links above to learn more.
In addition, the San Diego County Water Authority will accept applications later this year for its Fall 2019 Citizens Water Academy class. If you want to add your name to the interest list to be notified when the application period opens, click here.
Each day, 22 people die before receiving lifesaving organ transplants. Help grow the list of donors in California by signing up with Donate Life California at www.donatelifecalifornia.org.
When you file your state taxes this year, you will notice on your tax form that you have the opportunity to donate to more than 20 funds such as the California Senior Legislature (senior citizen advocacy), breast cancer research, and wildlife rehabilitation.
Front row from left to right: Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis; Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins; Sen. Patricia Bates; Woman of the Year Honoree Lisa Rodman; Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove; and Sen. Connie Leyva, Chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. Photo credit: Lorie Shelley.
On March 4th, I honored Lisa Rodman, the Chief Executive Officer of the non-profit Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation in Carlsbad, as the 36th Senate District’s Woman of the Year. Lisa’s efforts to help protect one of California’s most threatened coastal wetlands make her a worthy honoree. Click here to learn more.
The events below are just a sample of what’s happening in our beautiful district. While my office strives to include accurate information at the time of publication, event details are subject to change by their organizers.
Carlsbad: Earth Day Celebration
Date: April 13
Time: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Cole Library (1250 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, 92008)
About: Free composting workshops, crop swapping, an environmental film festival, and a gardening class in partnership with the Ecology Center.
Encinitas: Arbor Day 2019
Date: April 13
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Downtown Encinitas on 2nd St. between West E St. and West F St. (Tree planting will occur on 2nd and 3rd St. between West C St. and West K St.)
About: Come out to help beautify and protect the community through planting trees; learn about tree care from local experts and businesses; participate in fun arboreal crafts and activities.
Laguna Niguel: Earth Day Celebration
Date: April 20
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Crown Valley Park (29751 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel 92677)
About: “Go Green” and volunteer to plant, weed and clean up the Niguel Botanical Preserve.
Oceanside: Earth Day Festival
Date: April 27
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Downtown Oceanside (311 N Tremont St. Oceanside, 92054)
About: Earth Festival is a free event with fun and exciting attractions for everyone including live music from local bands. This festival will also include environmental education, product vendors, and a Kids-Eco Zone where children will be inspired by our local environment to save water, recycle right, and enjoy the great outdoors.
Dana Point: Free Community Shred Day
Date: April 27
Time: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Monarch Bay Plaza (32840 Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: Monarch Bay Plaza is sponsoring a free event to shred your sensitive documents. Services provided by Paper Recycling and Shredding Specialists - licensed, bonded, and insured. Watch your documents being cross-cut shred for better destruction. Certificate of destruction available upon request. LIMIT: Maximum of 5 Banker Boxes per person.
Aliso Viejo: Soka University’s International Festival
Date: May 4
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Soka University (1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, 92656)
About: Enjoy 700 musicians and dancers performing on four stages, and over 250 non-profit, craft and business exhibitors.
In addition to many meetings, briefings and other Senate activities, I also:
- Participated in San Juan Capistrano’s Swallows Day Parade. I’m with Assemblyman Bill Brough (2nd from left) and VFW and American Legion veterans.
- Celebrated honorees at the Woman’s Club of Vista “Celebrating Women of Achievement” event: Vista Mayor Judy Ritter (2nd from left), Carol Herrera (2nd from right), and Kathy Brombacher (right). I and Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath (left) congratulated the honorees on behalf of the Legislature.
- Visited Ag Day’s exhibits and animals at the State Capitol. Ag Day celebrates California’s diverse agricultural heritage and is one of my favorite annual Capitol events.
- Received the “Guardian of Small Business” award from the National Federation of Independent Business for my efforts to champion entrepreneurs. Click here to learn more.
- Met Anna Grulikowski of Mission Viejo. Anna was in Sacramento as part of California FFA’s (Future Farmers of America) visit to the State Capitol. I’m proud of the work that Anna and other FFA members are doing to champion agriculture!
- Presented certificates at the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony at Grace Hills Church in Aliso Viejo. Congrats to the Scouts of Troop 618 who earned this prestigious honor! In the lower photo I’m with Rancho Santa Margarita Mayor Pro Tem Brad McGirr (left), Mission Viejo Mayor Greg Raths (2nd right), and Scout leaders.
- And more!
- Finally, congratulations to the Surfing Madonna Oceans Project (SMOP) on its successful Half Marathon and Surf Camp on March 31st in Encinitas! SMOP does fabulous work to bring the community together to preserve and protect our coastline and ocean.