The top priority of the Legislature this month was passing a state budget by the June 15 constitutional deadline.
In an interesting development, I was added to the Budget Conference Committee at the last minute. This committee is supposed to reconcile differences between the Assembly and Senate’s budget proposals.
The committee’s work was pre-empted when Governor Brown, the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tem reached an agreement on the budget. At that point, the committee simply voted to approve or reject the components of that proposal and send the product to the floors of both the Assembly and the Senate.
While there are some good things in the budget for taxpayers, I have concerns about other items, which I explain more in the next section.
After the majority party passed its budget in both houses, the focus shifts back to policy committees for the rest of June, where Senate committees will consider nearly 1,000 bills that came over from the Assembly. The Legislature then goes on Summer Recess in July, which means legislators will be back in their districts attending local events and meetings. We reconvene on August 1, where we have until August 31 to send bills to Governor Brown for his consideration.
I appreciate all the comments I have received regarding legislation, the budget and issues such as sober living homes. Your comments help inform me on how I can best represent you. My district offices are also available to assist with issues involving state agencies and departments. You can reach my Orange County office at 949.598.5850 or my San Diego County office at 760.642.0809.
The Legislature’s majority party has approved the 2016-17 budget deal between Governor Brown, the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tem.
The budget will spend a total of $122.5 billion in the General Fund, which is $6.9 billion more than last year. The 2016-17 spending plan protects some priorities such as K-12 and higher education, but it also maintains an unwise cap on the amount of money local school districts can save for a rainy day.
The budget also places more financial obligations on taxpayers, such as expanded funding for child care. While the governor’s high-speed rail project continues to face intense scrutiny, it will receive $1.7 billion in this budget, an increase of $930 million over current year spending.
Needless to say, the higher “temporary” taxes that voters approved in 2012 to help the state with its financial problems have only led to more overall spending. Yet, our state’s roads and bridges continue to be underfunded. The governor continues to insist on a gas tax increase to fund our roads, even though my colleagues and I have authored legislation that would repair infrastructure without raising taxes.
It is a reminder that elections have consequences, where the people we put into office - especially those in the majority - have significant power to decide how our tax dollars are spent.
California State Senate Chambers
No one gets everything they want in a Legislature consisting of 120 members, but I am pleased to report that most of my priority legislation continues to move forward. Here are the latest updates on four bills:
- SB 1137 would make “ransomware” the criminal equivalent of extortion. I am pleased to be a co-author of this bill with Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys). Status: The Senate approved the bill unanimously on May 31 and is pending in the Assembly. Read my press release here.
- SB 1458 would expand a property tax exemption for “100 percent” disabled veterans and their spouses. Status: The Senate passed the bill unanimously on May 31 and is pending in the Assembly. Read my press release here.
- SB 1323 would combat the illegal distribution of fentanyl, which drug cartels use as a cheap substitute for heroin. Status: The Senate passed the bill unanimously on May 31 and is pending in the Assembly. Read my press release here.
- SB 1467 would tighten restrictions regarding candidate-controlled ballot measure committees. The bill is in response to the issues raised by the corrupt activities of a former state senator. Status: The Senate Appropriations Committee held the bill on May 27. Read my press release here.
If you missed last month’s sober living homes town hall in Laguna Hills, you can watch the video at this link. It features presentations from Assembly Members Bill Brough and Matthew Harper, legal specialists and local government representatives, and me.
In an effort to bring awareness to the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the month of June has been designated as PTSD Awareness Month. June 27 has been set aside by Congress as National PTSD Awareness Day.
PTSD is a mental health condition that can occur after someone has experienced a traumatic event, such as a physical or sexual assault, a disaster like an earthquake or fire, or an event associated with serving in combat.
Symptoms of PTSD include persistent intrusive thoughts and distressing dreams about the traumatic event, triggered emotional responses to reminders of the trauma, efforts to avoid thinking or talking about the trauma, and persistent hypervigilance to cues that indicate the reoccurrence of additional danger or trauma.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, children may also experience PTSD after learning about traumatic events that happen to family members or caregivers. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that about 8 million adult Americans have PTSD in any given year.
If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic event and suffers from any of these symptoms, seek help from a medical professional. Learn more about PTSD from the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
On May 25, I honored Vista’s “Prohibition Brewing Company” as the 2016 Small Business of the Year for the 36th Senate District.
From providing great food and beer to supporting their workers and the community, the Prohibition Brewing Company exemplifies the best of small business. Founders Ron and Kathy Adams have built a great business that has become a key part of the Hops Highway, helping to establish our region as a major destination for craft beer fans. I am pleased to congratulate Ron and Kathy on their success and thank them for all they do for their community.
Each year, every member of the Legislature selects a deserving small business from their district to honor as their “Small Business of the Year.” I honored Ron and Kathy during the California Small Business Day 2016 awards lunch in Sacramento.
The Adams founded Prohibition Brewing Company in 2011. It is a full service restaurant and brewery, serving dishes paired with specialty craft beers. Its employees live in or around the Vista area, creating a true home-town feel for their customers. Ron serves as a board member on the Vista Chamber of Commerce, actively supporting the city and its schools and businesses.
California’s small businesses are the lifeblood of the state’s economy. There are approximately 3.6 million small businesses in California, which account for 99 percent of the state’s employers and employ 50 percent of the workforce.
With Ron and Kathy Adams, the founders of Vista’s Prohibition Brewing Company.
The 36th Senate district is home to some of the best students in the country. Congratulations to the students below on earning national honors.
In addition, congratulations to all students in the 36th District on earning recognition for their academic, athletic and other meritorious achievements this year! My office received hundreds of names of students deserving of recognition, and I want to thank them for their hard work.
- Chase Aplin, Dana Hills High - National Merit Allergan Foundation Scholarship
- Jeyla M. Aranjo, Vista High School - National Merit Scholar
- David Bao, Santa Margarita Catholic High School - 2016 U.S. Presidential Scholar
- Vinya Bhuvan, Tesoro High - National Merit Eaton Scholarship
- Michael H. Chen, La Costa Canyon High School - National Merit Scholar
- Patrick Donahue, Aliso Niguel High - National Merit Pepsico Foundation Scholarship
- Christopher Elhosni, Santa Margarita Catholic High - National Merit Fluor Scholarship
- Juliana Guo Fan, Pacific Ridge High School - National Merit Scholar
- Nathan Joseph Neumann, San Dieguito Academy - National Merit Scholar
- Samiksha Ramesh, Carlsbad High School - National Merit Scholar
- Alice Wang, Trabuco Hills High - National Merit Schneider Electric North America Foundation Scholarship
- Erika X. Weng, Carlsbad High School - National Merit Scholar
Located in North San Diego County, the City of Vista is home to more than 100,000 people.
The city’s name comes from the Spanish word for “view.” Located just seven miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, its residents enjoy a setting of rolling hills, rural surroundings and a Mediterranean climate.
The Vista area was originally inhabited by the Luiseño Indians, who lived on the land until the founding of the San Luis Rey Mission in 1798. The prosperity of the mission-era declined by the 1830’s with the independence of Mexico from Spain. A growing number of settlers came to the area after California became a state in 1850 and began to create smaller agricultural holdings.
On January 28, 1963, Vista incorporated as a city. Today, residents enjoy a wide range of year-round outdoor activities. The city operates its own Fire Department and contracts with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement services.
Underscoring its status as a desirable place to live, Vista was featured in the book, 50 Fabulous Places to Raise Your Family in 2006. The city continues to be a fabulous place to live and work, and I am honored to represent Vista’s residents in the State Senate.
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? Please let me know by sending me a message on my website.
Del Mar: San Diego County FairDate: Now through July 4
Location: 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014
About: Mad About the Fair is the theme of the San Diego County Fair, San Diego’s biggest annual event.
Costa Mesa: Orange County Fair
Date: July 15 - 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 Niguel: Free Summer Concert Series: Tommy Tassi & The Authentics
Date: Friday, June 24
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Crown Valley Park, Amphitheater
(29751 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Come join the fun with Tommy Tassi & The Authentics 50’s & 60’s / Rock N’ Roll! Free shuttle service from 5:30-9:15 p.m. Park at City Hall located at 30111 Crown Valley Parkway. Food available for purchase.
Dana Point: Doheny Surf Festival
Date: June 25 and 26
Location: Doheny State Beach
(25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: A two-day celebration of the southern California surfing lifestyle! Live music, great food, Surfer’s Vendor Village, Surf Contest, Healthy Living Demonstrations, Surfer’s Art and Collectables, Classic Woody Car Show and more!
Mission Viejo: Olympic Day
Date: Saturday, June 25
Time: 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Los Rios Park (31831 Los Rios St., San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675)
About: This Memorial Day, Homefront America will transform Los Rios Historic Park, San Juan Capistrano, into a beautiful Field of Honor® display of U.S. flags. There is no charge to appreciate the Field of Honor. Bring the entire family to celebrate and honor those who have and continue to sacrifice so much for the freedoms we enjoy.
Vista: San Diego Scottish Highland Games
Date: Saturday, June 25 and 26
Time: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Brengle Terrace Park (1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084)
About: Featuring athletics, entertainers and more.
Aliso Viejo: City of Aliso Viejo’s 15th Anniversary Pool Party
Date: Saturday, July 2
Time: 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Aliso Viejo Aquatic Center (29 Santa Barbara Drive, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656)
About: In celebration of the city’s 15th anniversary, residents are invited to a birthday pool party. Bring the entire family to enjoy inflatable amusements, family games and activities, and burgers, along with swimming, and of course, birthday cake! Entry for the event is FREE.
Oceanside: Independence Parade
Date: Saturday, July 2
Time: 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Coast Highway
About: This is a traditional Independence Parade with over 125 participants. The parade will be on Coast Highway beginning at Oceanside Blvd. to Sportfisher Way. Sponsored by Main Street Foundation.
Oceanside: Fireworks Display
Date: Sunday, July 3
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: El Corazon Senior Center (3302 Senior Center Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056)
About: There will be music and food trucks from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Limited parking will be available in the Ocean Ranch Business Park. No parking will be available at the El Corazon Senior Center. Spectators are encouraged to arrive any time after 6 p.m., park in the nearby lots, bring a beach chair, and walk to the viewing area on Rancho Del Oro Road. Free and open to the public.
San Clemente: Independence Day Fireworks Show
Date: Monday, July 4
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: San Clemente Pier (622 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672)
About: Celebrate our country’s independence with a fabulous fireworks show on the San Clemente Pier.
Carlsbad: 4th Annual Carlsbad Grand Prix
Date: Sunday, July 17
Location: Armada Drive and Fleet Street
About: The Carlsbad Grand Prix is a cycling criterium circuit along a 0.9 mile closed course that loops through Armada Drive and Fleet Street in Carlsbad. This full day of races will feature more than 600 junior, amateur, professional, and Paralympics hand cyclists racing in timed races for prizes and/or cash in front of 3,000 spectators. Additionally, the Carlsbad Family Fun Race adds an additional 500 participants. This all day event includes free spectating and a Healthy Lifestyle expo open to the public, including music, food, bike rodeo and games.
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!
Rancho Santa Margarita: Low Cost Pet Vaccination Clinic
Date: Wednesday, July 6
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Bell Tower Regional Community Center
(22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688).
San Juan Capistrano: Music Under the Stars - Saturday Night Fever
Date: Saturday, July 9
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Location: Mission San Juan Capistrano
(26801 Ortega Highway, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675)
About: Music Under the Stars features a primarily tribute band lineup, celebrating a variety of timeless and nostalgic classics in popular music at the beautiful and historic setting of the Mission.
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:
- Served as vice chair of the California Prayer Breakfast in Sacramento, which focused on servant leadership. The chair of the breakfast was Los Angeles Assembly Member Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (fifth from right). We posed for a photo with guest speaker Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins III (fifth from left) and several legislators including Orange County Senator John Moorlach (left).
- Paid tribute to City of Laguna Niguel Councilman Jerry McCloskey as the Senate adjourned in his memory on June 1st. Jerry was a dedicated public servant, Navy veteran and generous volunteer.
- Presented a legislative resolution to longtime community volunteer Betty Pequet. She was recently recognized as the 2015 Laguna Niguel Citizen of the Year.
- Honored the fallen at a Memorial Day event with Laguna Niguel American Legion Post 281, Laguna Niguel Mayor Laurie Davies (fifth from left), guest speaker and decorated Vietnam War vet Steve Wilburn (sixth from left), Laguna Niguel City Council Member Elaine Gennawey (right), Boy Scout Troop 772 and many others.
- Helped welcome Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA) Chair C.C. Yin & his guests to the State Capitol.
- Attended a Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s business event with women professionals.
- Gave a Sacramento update to residents during a “Coffee Chat” at Dana Point’s Coffee Importers Scoop Deck & Deli.
- And much more!
On my behalf, my staff also:
- Presented certificates to students at the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce Salute to Education event.
- Attended the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside Achievement Awards event.
- Attended a meeting of the North San Diego Business Chamber.
- Attended Laguna Niguel Mayor Laurie Davies’ State of the City Address.
- Honored the fallen at Mission Viejo’s Memorial Day event. The backdrop was the American Heroes Banners. I was represented at the event by Rhonda Reardon of my Orange County office.
- Recognized Carter Godfrey (center), who earned the rank of Eagle Scout at the Eagle Board of Review.
- Attended the ceremony dedicating the Thomas T. & Elizabeth C. Tierney Center for Veteran Services in Tustin. Gary Strachan (pictured on the right), represented me at the event.
- Presented a certificate of recognition to Marbella Country Club for their re-opening event. Gary Strachan (left) represented me.
- And much 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