The start of the 2017-18 Legislative Session reminds me once again of Mark Twain’s quote of “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” With one political party now controlling a “supermajority” of both the State Senate and Assembly, there are renewed proposals to raise taxes and impose more regulations. While some of these proposals have yet to be fully fleshed out, you can rest assured that I will do everything I can to fight for San Diego and Orange County taxpayers.
In addition, I will continue to champion measures to make our communities safer. For example, I have reintroduced legislation to imprison sex offenders who cut off their GPS tracking devices, which the governor vetoed in 2015.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation reports that 1,246 people removed, disabled or tampered with their GPS devices in an 11 month period in 2015 and 2016. With the recent conviction of a person who murdered at least four women in Orange County, it is more important than ever that we appropriately punish offenders who cut off their GPS bracelets before they do something more heinous.
As always, feel free to contact one of my offices if I can be of assistance on state issues. May 2017 be your best year yet!
California State Senate Chambers
My staff and I are continuing to conduct bill research and meet with stakeholders to complete my legislative package for this year.
As of this writing, I have introduced Senate Bill (SB) 34 which deals with sober living homes. It is currently “intent” language, but will be updated with specifics soon on how we can address the concerns of local residents.
I have also introduced several public safety-related bills such as the GPS sex offender measure (SB 69) that I mentioned previously and SB 75, that would expand the definition of “violent” felonies. Some felonies such as human trafficking involving a minor and rape of an unconscious victim are currently considered “non-violent,” thus making the offender eligible for early release from state prison. These crimes may not involve fists and guns, but they are devastating for the victims. The state must correct this oversight in the law.
For the latest updates on my legislation, please click here.
California State Capitol
Governor Brown released his 2017-18 budget proposal on January 10.
Given national economic conditions and pending policy changes in Washington, D.C., it’s prudent that the budget has embraced a relatively cautious approach. The state must be extra vigilant in its spending, and California would be better served if our state’s leadership seeks cooperation instead of confrontation with the new federal administration.
On transportation, I agree with the need to fix our aging roads, but I am troubled that the governor still wants drivers to pay massively higher gas taxes. The state can fix our roads by diverting money from an unnecessary high-speed train, eliminating inefficiencies at Caltrans and using designated transportation dollars for their original purpose.
The governor’s budget proposal is merely the opening chapter of a long process that should conclude in June. There will undoubtedly be more developments as my colleagues and I consider the budget in the months ahead.
It was a joy to celebrate San Clemente High School’s first football state championship at their victory celebration last month.
I was honored to meet Head Coach Jaime Ortiz (left photo, center), quarterback Jack Sears (#16), Brandon Reaves (#2 -- he scored the game winning touchdown on a punt return) and their teammates.
I was particularly struck by Brandon’s words to his team during halftime, which was quoted by the San Clemente Times: “We’re not losing this game. We didn’t come all the way out here to lose this game, so we gave it everything we had and this is the result.” Those are the words of a champion!
Congrats to the Tritons!
Cox Charities is awarding up to $100,000 in college scholarships to students across Cox Communications’ Southern California service area (San Diego County, Orange County, Palos Verdes and Santa Barbara.) The deadline to submit an application is February 1, 2017.
To learn about additional scholarship and financial aid opportunities, please visit the California Student Aid Commission at http://www.csac.ca.gov.
Laguna Niguel City Hall. Photo Credit: City of Laguna Niguel
Located in South Orange County, the City of Laguna Niguel is home to more than 65,000 people, including yours truly.
The name “Laguna Niguel” is derived from the Spanish word “Laguna,” which means lagoon, and the word “Nigueli,” which was the name of a Juaneno Indian village once located near Aliso Creek. The genesis of today’s Laguna Niguel was the establishment of the Laguna Niguel Corporation in 1959 by Cabot, Cabot and Forbes, making it one of the first master planned communities in California.
In 1986, Laguna Niguel residents, looking for local governance, took the first step toward cityhood by forming a Community Services District. On November 7, 1989, 89 percent of the voters favored incorporation and on December 1, 1989, Laguna Niguel became the 29th city in Orange County. I was fortunate to become the city’s first mayor, an experience that continues to inform the way I approach public service to this day.
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: Chamber of Commerce Lunch with Chief of Police
Date: Thursday, February 9
Time: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Laguna Hills Community Center Heritage Room (25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA)
About: Chief of Police Roland Chacon will discuss what is happening in the community. No fee for chamber members.
Encinitas: Sandbag Give-A-Way Event
Date: Saturday, February 11
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Public Works Facility (160 Calle Magdalena, Encinitas, CA 92024)
About: 1500 sandbags will be available to Encinitas residents (no contractors) on a first come, first serve basis. Residents must provide photo identification and show proof of residency.
Laguna Niguel: Coffee with a Cop
Date: Wednesday, February 15
Time: 7 a.m. - 9 a.m.
Location: Corner Bakery (27221 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: No agendas or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the deputies in your neighborhood!
Dana Point and Capistrano Beach: Bulky Item Drop Off Event
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Dana Hills High School (33333 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629) and Palisades Elementary School (26462 Via Sacramento, Capistrano Beach, CA 92624)
About: Residents can bring e-waste, green waste, large appliances, furniture, and other bulky items that don’t fit in a normal waste container. Many of the items collected at these events can be recycled.
Lake Forest: South County Pet Expo and Dog-a-Palooza!
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Lake Forest Sports Park & Recreation Center (28000 Rancho Parkway, Lake Forest, CA 92630)
About: The event will feature canine demonstrations, food trucks, music and much more for families and pets.
San Juan Capistrano: Kid’s Pet Parade
Date: Saturday, February 18
Time: 12 p.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Los Rios Park (31747 Los Rios Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA, 92675)
About: Children between the ages of 5 - 12 can show off their favorite animals in contests for Best Team Costume (owner and pet), Best Domestic/Household Pet, Best Exotic Pet, Best Barnyard/Farm Animal, and Best Bird
Mission Viejo: Community Health Fair
Date: Saturday, February 25
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. Get inspired to get on a healthy track! Free health screenings, giveaways, over 50 vendors and kids activities galore.
Vista: Day with a Sheriff’s Deputy
Date: Saturday, February 25
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Shadowridge Park (2101 Lupine Hills Drive, Vista, CA 92081)
About: A fun, family event with kids’ activities and information booths staffed by Vista Sheriffs to learn about home and neighborhood safety. Kids can check out the “Talking Sheriff’s Car” and SWAT vehicles.
Rancho Santa Margarita: Low Cost Pet Vaccination Clinic
Date: Wednesday, March 1
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Bell Tower Regional Community Center (22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
Oceanside: Western Surfing Association Championship Tour
Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Oceanside Harbor South Jetty
About: This is a surfing competition to qualify competitors to the West Coast Championships, U.S. Championships, Prime Events, and any World Team Events. Sponsored by Western Surfing Association.
San Clemente: St. Patrick’s Day Dinner and Dance
Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Location: 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, CA 92672
About: Sponsored by the Exchange Club in partnership with the City of San Clemente to benefit local charities.
Del Mar: San Diego Women’s Week - Opening Day
Date: Monday, March 20
Time: 12 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds, Wyland Center (2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014)
About: Sponsored by the North San Diego Business Chamber, the Women’s Week Opening Day event offers dynamic speakers, breakout sessions and more. Opening Day is free to the public.
Date: April 1 and 2
Time: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Saturday) and 6:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. (Sunday)
Location: The Village of Carlsbad, Roosevelt, between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue
About: Experience the “World’s Fastest 5K” race. The event also features an expo packed with samples, food and health information.
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.
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 many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:
- Visited Vista’s Casita Center for Technology, Science and Math to recognize Jenny Chien Anderson (pictured below) and her fellow educators. Jenny was selected as one of five California Teachers of the Year for her excellence in teaching!
- Gave a legislative update to the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce. It was an honor to have the entire Laguna Niguel City Council in attendance!
- Administered the oath-of-office to Councilmember Amanda Rigby for a second term on the Vista City Council.
- Honored outgoing San Juan Capistrano Mayor Pam Patterson and retiring council members John Perry and Sam Allevato with Assemblyman Bill Brough.
- And more!
On my behalf, my staff also:
- Thanked departing Mission Viejo Mayor Frank Ury (center) for his service to the city with a resolution from me and Assemblyman Bill Brough (right). Rhonda Reardon (left) from my Laguna Hills office represented me. Photo credit: Takata Photo & Design.
- Rhonda also recognized outgoing Council Member Cathy Schlicht (in red) for her eight years of service to the city. Photo credit: Takata Photo & Design.
- Celebrated the opening of Tutto Fresco Kitchen & Bar in Rancho Santa Margarita. Photo credit: Takata Photo & Design.
- 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