Pat's Perspective: July 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Special Session on Transportation

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Recently, Governor Brown called for a special session of the Legislature to consider solutions to address California’s deteriorating transportation infrastructure. I was honored to have been appointed to the Transportation and Infrastructure Development Committee to help craft solutions, and I have co-authored two measures that would require the state to spend existing revenues on critical needs.

SCA X1 1 (Huff, R-San Dimas) would constitutionally guarantee that billions in transportation taxes collected each year are used only for transportation purposes.

SB X1 2 (Huff) would dedicate cap-and-trade taxes derived from gasoline production to improving California’s roads.

The state has diverted more than $5 billion in weight fees and other transportation taxes to pay state debt over the past five years. Dedicating revenues from those weight fees and from cap-and-trade taxes generated by gasoline production would provide $3 billion for transportation projects.

If passed, SCA X1 1 would return $1.1 billion each year to transportation projects. SCA X1 1 is a constitutional amendment that must be approved by both the Legislature and voters.

SB X1 2 would make $1.9 billion available annually for transportation projects from the state’s cap-and-trade taxes. Currently, there are $2.7 billion in cap-and-trade funds that will be used for a variety of purposes, including funding the High-Speed Rail project that will receive $500 million in the 2015-16 budget.

While it will be a challenge to pass these proposals, it is possible to address transportation needs if we use existing funds for their intended purposes.

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Legislative Update

Senate Floor SessionOn July 17, the Legislature started its one month “Summer Recess” from committee hearings and floor sessions, which enables legislators to spend more time in their districts.

The weeks leading up to the recess were very busy, where Senate and Assembly committees studied, discussed and voted on hundreds of bills. I am pleased that several of my bills have moved forward in the legislative process.

Two of these measures are Senate Bills 722 and 257. The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved SB 722 on a bipartisan vote. I authored this bill to tighten penalties for sex offenders who remove their GPS devices. This bill was prompted by the tragic murders of at least four women in Orange County by suspects who previously cut off their devices.

The Assembly Transportation Committee also unanimously approved SB 257 to allow for Gold Star Family license plates to be personalized if the requester pays a fee. Upon request, these plates are issued to immediate family members whose relative lost his or her life while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Both bills are now with the Assembly Appropriations Committee for its consideration.

I also introduced an amendment to AB 531 (O’Donnell) to allow schools to save for a rainy day. The Legislature and Governor Brown implemented a cap on school reserves last year in a budget “trailer” bill despite strong opposition from local school officials. The cap will make it very difficult for schools to meet emergency needs such as repairing school buses.

The non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office endorsed the repeal of the reserve cap in January stating, “Less stability in academic programs, increased fiscal distress, and higher borrowing costs all are notable risks associated with lower levels of reserves.” The Senate will take up my amendment when AB 531’s author has the bill presented on the Senate floor.

The Legislature reconvenes on August 17 and the last day to pass bills is September 11, so there will be a lot of legislative action in between. Stay tuned.

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Father Serra Statue Vote Postponed

Father Junipero Serra’s statue at the U.S. Capitol

Earlier this month, the Assembly decided to postpone consideration of Senate Joint Resolution 4 (Lara) that would remove Father Junipero Serra’s statue from the U.S. Capitol and replace it with a statue of Sally Ride.

Assemblyman Bill Brough (R-Dana Point) and I both represent districts which include Mission San Juan Capistrano that Father Serra founded. We asked our colleagues to delay the Assembly debate on the resolution in deference to Pope Francis’ September visit to the U.S. to canonize Father Serra, and we commend them for doing the right thing.

Debating such a bill just before Pope Francis’ visit would have conveyed a terrible message to him and millions of Catholics around the world, contradicting California’s reputation as a tolerant and welcoming place for all people.

Given that Senate Joint Resolution 4 has only been delayed, we still remain opposed to it because California’s early history cannot be told without Father Serra. It is important that his statue remain in Washington, D.C. to promote a respectful dialogue of reflection and reconciliation.

We also believe Sally Ride is deserving of high honor given her historic achievements and will support efforts to honor her properly without displacing Father Serra.

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State Funding for Local Priorities

I’m pleased to report that the state has recently approved funds for a number of local priorities. Highlights include:

  • $5.6 million statewide for County Veterans Service Organizations (CVSO’s) in the 2015-16 state budget. CVSO’s assist veterans and their families in obtaining benefits and services accrued through military service.

  • Nearly $1 million for the Mission Cove Family 1 affordable housing development in Oceanside to help reduce homelessness among our military veterans. This funding comes from AB 639, which Governor Brown signed in 2013 that authorized $600 million in bonds to help build affordable housing for veterans.

  • More than $932,000 for the City of Vista to increase housing and improve/construct parks and recreation facilities. The funding comes from Proposition 1C, which California’s voters approved in 2006.

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National Night Out

National Night Out logoNational Night Out (August 4, 2015) is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer.

Communities host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and other various events with safety demonstrations, seminars and youth events. Communities in Orange and San Diego Counties will be holding local events.

Some local events are highlighted in the “Upcoming Events” section below. Contact your local law enforcement agency to see if an event will be held near you. If you cannot make it to a local event, leave on your porch light on August 4 as a show of solidarity.

For more information about National Night Out, click here.

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California Competes Tax Credit

California Competes Tax Credit logoThe Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has announced that it will host a workshop in the San Diego region to present information on the next application round of California Competes tax credits ($75 million available).

The event, which is open to the public free of charge, will be held on July 31 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the offices of BIOCOM, located at 10996 Torreyana Road (Lighthouse Room) - San Diego, 92121.

Representatives from all potentially eligible businesses are encouraged to attend. California Competes is a flexible tax credit program intended to promote job creation, business attraction, retention and expansion efforts in California.

Click here to learn more about the tax credit.

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Buena Vista Lagoon Enhancement

Buena Vista LagoonBuena Vista Lagoon is located in northern San Diego County, within the cities of Oceanside and Carlsbad. It encompasses approximately 220 acres, extending to the coastline from just east of I-5. Buena Vista is the only freshwater lagoon in Southern California, protected from tidal influence by a beach berm and a man-made barrier.

The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to assess the potential environmental impacts from a proposed enhancement of the lagoon. The report equally evaluates four project alternatives: freshwater, saltwater, a hybrid containing both freshwater and saltwater, and a no project alternative.

A public meeting will be held on Thursday, July 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Carlsbad Senior Center (799 Pine Avenue, Carlsbad, 92008) where the public will have the opportunity to learn more about the proposed lagoon enhancement alternatives and comment on the draft EIR.

For additional information, please click here.

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Disneyland Dreamers & Doers

Dreamers & Doers logoBeginning September 8, Orange County high school students can apply to become part of the first class of “Dreamers & Doers,” Disneyland Resort’s newly announced program aimed at recognizing exemplary high school students who improve their community, home or school.

Students can submit applications based on their good deeds and service that can vary from tutoring younger students, to leading a food drive, to starting a recycling program or helping with a sick or elderly family member.

The program will reward students in various ways including Disneyland Resort park tickets, hotel stays and funds for their schools. Students interested in applying to become a Dreamer & Doer this fall are encouraged to use summer break to get involved and even showcase how they are making an impact by submitting videos of their work in action. Select videos will then be part of a final video highlighting the program, which will be shown on the Disney Parks Blog and other social media channels.

Instructions for submitting videos and more information about the program can be found here.

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OneCare Connect Member Advisory Committee

CalOptima OneCare Connect logoCalOptima’s OneCare Connect is a new Orange County health plan that combines Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits. The CalOptima Board of Directors welcomes input and recommendations from its members and the community regarding OneCare Connect through the OneCare Connect Member Advisory Committee (OCC MAC).

The OCC MAC will be composed of 10 voting members representing the various communities that OneCare Connect serves. The committee will report to the Board and will be asked to:

  • Provide input and recommendations to the Board and staff on issues concerning OneCare Connect as directed by the Board and as permitted under the law.

  • Take part in study, research and analysis of issues assigned by the Board or generated by staff or the OCC MAC.

  • Serve as liaison between interested parties and the Board. Assist the Board and staff in obtaining public opinion on issues related to OneCare Connect.

  • Create recommendations on issues for study to the CalOptima Board for its approval and consideration, as well as facilitate community outreach for OneCare Connect and the Board.

For more information about the committee and on how to apply, please click here.

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Reagan Capitol Statue

Image of Senators Jim Nielsen, Pat Bates and Janet NguyenImage of Ronald Reagan statue
Posing in front of the State Capitol’s new Ronald Reagan statue with Senators Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) and Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove).
Photo Credit: Lorie Shelley, CA State Senate.

On June 22, the State Capitol celebrated the dedication of a new statue honoring former President and California Governor Ronald Reagan.

The statue is located in the Capitol’s lower rotunda. It is a fitting tribute to a Californian who accomplished so much for our state and nation during his lifetime.

Former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Secretary of Energy John Herrington and numerous special guests attended the ceremony. Former First Lady Nancy Reagan also wrote a letter that was read to the audience.

Douglas Van Howd created the new statue. He was a longtime friend of President Reagan and served as the White House artist during his Administration. He worked closely with the Reagan Family and the Ronald Reagan Centennial Capitol Foundation in designing the statue.

Assembly Bill 2358, authored by former Assembly Members Curt Hagman and Martin Garrick, authorized the creation of the statue to be placed at the State Capitol. No public funds were used in its construction.

I encourage you to take a trip to the State Capitol to see the statue and many other items of interest. Please contact my Sacramento office for more information about State Capitol tours.

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Upcoming Events

The events below are just a taste 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.

Laguna Woods: South County Senior Summit (Co-Sponsored by Senator Bates)

Date: Friday, July 24
Time: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Location: Laguna Woods Village Clubhouse 3 (23822 Avenida Sevilla, Laguna Woods, CA 92637)
About: Senator Bates is co-sponsoring this FREE summit with Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, which will feature important information for seniors, caregivers and family members. Complimentary breakfast and lunch will be provided.
More Information: Call 1.800.510.2020 to RSVP.

Costa Mesa: Orange County Fair

Date: Now thru August 16
Time: Varies
Location: OC Fair & Event Center (88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626)
About: The OC Fair is celebrating 125 years this year with the theme “One Big Party.” Since its quaint beginnings in 1889, the OC Fair has grown to a 23-day extravaganza that welcomes more than 1.3 million guests every summer.

Dana Point: Summer Concert Series

Date: Sunday, August 2
Time: 2:30 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Sea Terrace Park (Pacific Coast Highway & Niguel Road, Dana Point, CA 92629)

Encinitas: National Night Out

Date: Tuesday, August 4
Time: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: Target Parking Lot, Encinitas Town Ranch Center (1040 El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA 92024)
About: Meet deputies who patrol local neighborhoods, learn about the many services the Sheriff’s Department provides, get crime prevention tips and much more.

Laguna Hills: National Night Out

Date: Tuesday, August 4
Time: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Laguna Hills Community Center & Park (25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: Join the Aliso Viejo and Laguna Hills police departments for a night to shine a light on crime! This event will give residents an opportunity to meet and greet the people who help keep our cities safe. Many free activities will be offered for families.

Oceanside: National Night Out

Date: Tuesday, August 4
Location: Three locations - Americanization Building, Balderrama Park and Libby Lake Park

Vista: National Night Out

Date: Tuesday, August 4
Time: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Brengle Terrace Park Ball Fields (1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084)
About: Meet deputies who patrol local neighborhoods, learn about the many services the Sheriff’s Department provides, get crime prevention tips and much more.

Laguna Niguel: National Night Out

Date: Tuesday, August 4
Time: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Crown Valley Community Park (29751 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Laguna Niguel Police Services invites you and your family to be a part of a night against crime. Event features deputy sheriffs, a fire engine, ambulance, inflatable slide, a live band, face painting, games, giveaways and much more.

Oceanside: Longboard Surfing Club Contest, Guy Takayama Pro Noseriding Contest & Beach Festival

Date: August 7 to 9
Location: Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater (200 The Strand North, Oceanside, CA 92054)
About: The Oceanside Longboard Surfing Club’s annual surf contest is held at the Oceanside Pier where amateur longboard surfers from as far north as Santa Cruz compete for bragging rights and trophies. The beach festival takes place in the amphitheater and features a beer garden featuring local breweries, food vendors and merchandise.

Vista: Movie in the Park & Summer Fun Fest

Date: Saturday, August 8
Time: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. (fun fest), 8 p.m. (movie)
Location: Brengle Terrace Park Ball Fields (1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084)
About: The summer fun fest features kids activities, booths, bounce houses, fire equipment and more! The free movie is Big Hero 6 (PG). Bring a blanket to sit on and jackets as the nights are cool.

San Clemente: Fiesta Street Festival

Date: Sunday, August 9
Time: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672
About: The Fiesta Street Festival features activities for the whole family, including food and game booths sponsored by local nonprofit organizations, three stages with continuous live music throughout the day, contests for all ages and more.

Mission Viejo: Artisan Faire

Date: Saturday, August 15
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Mission Viejo Village Shopping Center (25402 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, CA 92692)
About: The faire will feature a host of art and crafts vendors, art demonstrations, crafts for kids, live entertainment and more.

San Juan Capistrano: San Juan Summer Nites Concert Series

Date: Wednesday, August 19
Time: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Historic Town Center Park (31852 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675)
About: Featuring live music, dancing, free activities for kids in the youth zone, a business expo with information booths and local restaurants.

Encinitas: Classic Car Nights

Date: August 20 and September 17
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: S. Coast Highway 101 from D Street to J Street, Encinitas
About: The streets of Downtown Encinitas will be rockin’ and rollin’ when Encinitas Classic Car Nights arrive.

Carlsbad: 12th Annual Carlsbad Music Festival

Date: August 28 to 30
Location: Carlsbad Village
About: This year’s festival will feature over 50 performances in three days with concerts in Magee Park and Carlsbad Village Theater on Saturday and Sunday, as well as the Village Music Walk on Friday. All concerts will take place in the charming seaside Village of Carlsbad in walking distance of the beach, hotels, restaurants and the Coaster train station.

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:

Senator Bates at a meeting
Gave a Sacramento update to a joint meeting of the Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo Chambers of Commerce

Image of Dana Point's Summer Weekend Trolley Service
Participated in the opening of Dana Point’s Summer Weekend Trolley Service

Image of Senator Bates with Nathan Kang
Honored Nathan Kang, a local 6th grade student for his participation at the Los Angeles Regional History Bee and National History Bee in Kentucky

Image of Senator Bates and other Senators on National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl
Supported Senator Jean Fuller’s (R-Bakersfield) resolution recognizing the National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl. From left to right, I’m pictured with Senator Fuller, Senator Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley) and Senator Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove). Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) also “photobombed” our photo.

On my behalf, my office staff also:

  • Attended the dedication of the new Vista substation for the California Highway Patrol
  • Participated in a water summit hosted by the San Diego North Economic Development Council in Vista that covered topics such as infrastructure and desalination
  • Attended the ribbon cutting of the Glenner Memory Care Center in Encinitas and Nutrition Zone in Carlsbad
  • Participated in planning meetings for the South County Senior Summit in Laguna Woods
  • Attended the Laguna Niguel Mayor’s “State of the City” Address
  • Attended the San Diego County Taxpayers Association Breakfast
  • 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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