As I mentioned in my last newsletter, August is the last regular month of the 2015-16 legislative session in Sacramento. With the Legislature needing to decide the fate of hundreds of bills before the August 31st deadline, this month has already been exceptionally busy.
While there are some good bills that will hopefully be approved, there are others that deserve to be rejected. I do my best to study the pros and cons of each bill, so if there is a particular measure that you feel strongly about, please let me know.
Thankfully, August also means that it is time for the Summer Olympics, with many members of Team USA coming from Orange and San Diego Counties. Their stories and feats of athleticism provide a welcome opportunity for our country to come together as one. You can learn more about our local Olympians in this newsletter.
In recent weeks, a bipartisan group of federal legislators has called on the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review federal and state oversight of sober living homes. This request was made possible by residents like you who have expressed concerns about the neighborhood impact of these homes.
In June, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida) wrote a letter to the GAO asking it to provide information about:
- the number of sober living homes in the U.S. and how many people they serve;
- how they are regulated at the federal, state, and local levels;
- the types and effectiveness of services offered by these facilities; and
- how these facilities and their patients interact with Medicaid and other federally-funded health care programs.
The senators expressed particular concern about allegations that sober living home administrators have received “kickbacks” for referrals of residents to Medicaid-funded drug and alcohol treatment programs.
Last month, several U.S. representatives sent a letter of their own, similar to the request made by the U.S. senators.
I hope that the answers provided by the GAO will assist federal and state officials in initializing new guidelines and regulations that will promote oversight of sober living homes.
For more information about these homes and my efforts on the issue, please click here.
Follow the U.S. Olympic Team on Facebook here.
Like so many other Americans, I will be cheering on our Olympians as they compete in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this month.
The 36th Senate District is home to two of the 554-strong U.S. Olympic team (262 men, 292 women). They are Carlsbad’s Lauren Fendrick, who is competing in beach volleyball and San Clemente’s David Higgins, who is competing in the 50m rifle shooting event.
Overall, 19 Olympians are from San Diego County and 20 are from Orange County. No matter their hometown, we are very proud of the members of Team USA and know they will give their very best.
That is why I have co-authored Assemblyman Brian Jones’ Assembly Bill 1944, which would provide tax relief to California’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes in their pursuit of success. The bill would exclude from income tax the value of any medal given by the International Olympic Committee and any prize money or honorarium given by the U.S. Olympic Committee as a result of winning a medal in the Olympic or Paralympic Games. The exemption does not include income generated through sponsorship deals or other endorsement income. The Assembly passed the bill unanimously and is pending in the Senate.
Best wishes to all on bringing home the Gold!
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported on August 4 that two infants with Zika-related microcephaly have been born in California to women who had Zika virus infections during pregnancy after spending time in a country where the virus is endemic. While mosquitoes that can carry the virus have been found in 12 California counties, there is no evidence these mosquitoes are transmitting Zika in the state at this time.
If you are still making payments on an old traffic ticket or have a suspended license, you may qualify for California’s “Traffic Tickets / Infractions Amnesty Program.”
Through this program, you may be eligible to:
- Get a 50 percent reduction on unpaid traffic tickets;
- Get an 80 percent reduction on unpaid traffic tickets; or
- Get your suspended license reinstated.
For more details, please visit the California Courts website at www.courts.ca.gov/trafficamnesty. The program ends on March 31, 2017.
One of America’s greatest treasures, its national park system, will celebrate its 100th birthday on August 25th.
As part of the ongoing celebration to honor this historic occasion, the National Parks Service will be offering “Free Entrance Days” to all national parks from August 25th to 28th.
We are fortunate to have ten national parks in California and many national monuments, historical sites, and trails that give all who visit an opportunity to witness the beauty and natural diversity this state offers. You can find a list here.
The National Parks Service has also scheduled “Free Entrance Days” for September 24th, to recognize National Public Lands Day, and November 11th, in honor of Veterans Day.
There is good news for state parks in the 36th Senate District.
The California State Parks Foundation recently awarded a grant to Friends of Cardiff and Carlsbad State Beaches to develop a sustainable revenue stream to continue to serve Carlsbad State Beach, Cardiff State Beach and South Carlsbad State Beach.
The foundation also awarded a grant to Outdoor Outreach, which connects youth from urban communities to San Diego area state parks via outdoor recreation and environmental education.
Thank you to the California State Parks Foundation for its support of our parks!
Highway 101 in Encinitas. Photo Credit: City of Encinitas
Located in North San Diego County, the City of Encinitas is home to more than 62,000 people. This beautiful city is situated along six miles of fabulous Pacific coastline.
Encinitas was incorporated in 1986, drawing together the communities of New Encinitas, Old Encinitas, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Olivenhain and Leucadia. The city is considered the Flower Growing Capital by many, where it is home to a significant flower growing industry. The San Diego Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to visit with an Amazon rainforest and the largest display of bamboo in the world.
Downtown 101 is a coastal shopping district that features historic architecture, shops, cafes and restaurants. Nearby are outstanding beaches where many surf contests are held. In addition, the city is home to the San Elijo Lagoon Reserve, the largest coastal wetland in San Diego County and home to nearly 300 different bird species throughout the year.
Congratulations to Michael Balsamo (pictured above) on being named the new chief executive officer of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, Inc. (BIASC).
Mr. Balsamo, whose previous role was with the BIA as the executive officer for the Orange County Chapter, has more than 20 years of experience in land use planning and real estate development in both the public and private sectors.
Mr. Balsamo is a long-time resident of Orange County and graduate of UC Irvine where he studied political science and environmental science. He gained experience as a land use planner for the cities of Irvine and Lake Forest following his graduation and has made it his mission to champion building as the foundation of vibrant and sustainable communities.
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?
Mission Viejo: Recordkeeping Workshop
Date: Wednesday, August 17
Time: 1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Mission Viejo City Hall - Saddleback Room (200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, CA 92691)
About: Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey, Assemblyman Bill Brough and Senator Bates are hosting a small business recordkeeping workshop.
Costa Mesa: Orange County Fair
Date: Thru August 14
Location: 100 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
About: The Orange County Fair offers something for everyone. Visit its website for a menu of things to do.
Laguna Hills: Shakespeare in the Hills- Macbeth
Date: Saturday, August 13
Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location: Community Center & Sports Complex (25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: Bring a blanket or your lawn chair, bring your meal and make it a picnic event for this outdoor performance presented by On The Edge Theatre Productions.
Encinitas: Classic Car Night
Date: Thursday, August 18
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: S. Coast Highway 101 from D Street to J Street
About: See hundreds of hot rods, Woodies and other classic and vintage vehicles, presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts.
San Clemente: Concert & Movie in the Park
Date: Friday, August 19
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: San Gorgonio Park (2916 Via San Gorgonio, San Clemente, CA 92672)
About: Join for a family-friendly back-to-school concert and movie in the park. The evening will begin with a concert (6 p.m.) featuring Panjive (steel drum band) and will conclude with a showing of Disney’s Finding Nemo (7:30 p.m.).
More Information: Click here.
Oceanside: World Bodysurfing Championships
Date: August 20 and 21
Time: 6:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Oceanside Pier
About: Approximately 350-400 bodysurfers from around the world compete in their respective age divisions for trophies and prizes. The Men and Women’s Grand Champions will be crowned on Sunday afternoon.
Mission Viejo: U.S. Small Business Administration: Strategies for Growing Your Business
Date: Wednesday, August 24
Time: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: Mission Viejo City Hall (200 Civic Center, Saddleback Room, Mission Viejo, CA 92691)
About: Free (reservation recommended)
San Juan Capistrano: Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo
Date: August 27 and 28
Time: Saturday gates open 1:00 p.m. Sunday gates open 11:30 a.m.
Location: 30753 La Pata Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
About: 2 days of good old time family entertainment, not to mention the richest 2-day Rodeo in the nation.
Dana Point: Harbor 50-Year Time Capsule Celebration
Date: August 29
Time: 4 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Baby Beach (34451 Ensenada Place, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: Please join for the festivities at Dana Point Harbor’s Baby Beach when the time capsule’s contents will revealed - exactly 50 years after the signature event.
Rancho Santa Margarita: Low Cost Pet Vaccination Clinic
Date: Wednesday, September 7
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Bell Tower Regional Community Center (22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
Date: Saturday, September 10
Time: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Holiday Park Carlsbad (3400 Pio Pico Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008)
About: Tickets to the event are $50 and may be purchased online and gives you the opportunity to sample beers from more than 30+ local, regional, and national breweries.
Aliso Viejo: Trails and Creek Clean-up Event
Date: Saturday, September 17
Time: 8 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Aliso Viejo Ranch (100 Park Avenue, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656)
About: Complimentary refreshments will be provided for volunteers who should come wearing sunscreen along with appropriate clothes and closed-toed shoes or hiking boots. Bring gardening or work gloves if you have them. For more information or to pre-register, contact Moy Yahya at 949.425.2538 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vista: Mobile Pet Clinic Event
Date: Saturday, September 24
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Brengle Terrace Park (1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084)
About: San Diego Humane Society will be on site providing affordable vaccinations and microchips. If you are a resident of Oceanside or Vista, you can stop by to renew or purchase a new license (late fees will be waived).
Laguna Niguel: NFL PUNT, PASS & KICK Competition
Date: Sunday, September 25
Time: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Marina Hills Park (24802 Marina Hills Drive, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Boys and girls, come show off your football skills at the City of Laguna Niguel, NFL Punt, Pass & Kick local competition! Top finishers in each of the boys’ and girls’ divisions, (6-7 yrs., 8-9 yrs., 10-11 yrs., 12-13 yrs., & 14-15 yrs.), will advance to the Sectional Competition.
Encinitas Station Farmers Market
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Downtown Encinitas (600 S Vulcan Avenue, Encinitas, CA 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!
San Juan Capistrano Farmers Market
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Yorba Street between Camino Capistrano & El Camino Real in downtown San Juan Capistrano, one block south of Mission San Juan Capistrano.
About: The Old Capistrano Certified Farmers Market promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products to customers.
Note: While my office strives to include accurate information at the time of publication, events are subject to change by the organizers/sponsors.
In addition to my many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:
- Delivered a Sacramento update to Oceanside constituents.
- Congratulated Alex Khan, my 2015-16 Senate Fellow, for his service to the Senate over the past year.
- Discussed the issue of sober living homes in North San Diego County.
- Met with members of the American Heart Association - Orange County Division.
- And more!
On my behalf, my staff also:
- Attended the opening of the Veterans Business Outreach Center in Carlsbad.
- Met with the Laguna Hills Chamber of Commerce.
- Attended an meeting sponsored by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
- Sent congratulations to four Saddleback Memorial employees who were honored with tuition scholarships from its foundation. The scholarship recipients are: Jocelyn Lambeth, the Saddleback Kiwanis Award; Nancy Maldonado, the Rabinov Award; Janelle Lamas, the Nurses 4 Nurses Award; and Kathryn Schmidt, the Damsker Award.
- And more!
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