Pat's Perspective: June 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Message from Pat

Dear Neighbor,

As the representative for the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, I take very seriously my responsibility to represent you and our fellow Californians.

Given the diversity of opinions in our state, we will not agree on every issue, but my staff and I read every contact and take your concerns into account. I listen to all sides of an issue and act according to my conscience and the best interests of our district and state.

As always, you can send me a message on my website or call one of my offices.

On a lighter note, there are a lot of fun events coming up this summer, including Independence Day celebrations. Check the “Upcoming Events” section to find a selection of events near you!



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Small Business of the Year


Senator Bates; Rebekah and Joshua Van Orden, the owners of Oceanside Therapy Group; and Alfonso Solis, OTG's office manager
Left to right: Senator Bates; Rebekah and Joshua Van Orden, the owners of Oceanside Therapy Group; and Alfonso Solis, OTG’s office manager.

This year’s 2017 Small Business of the Year for the 36th Senate District is Oceanside Therapy Group (OTG). I recognized owners Joshua and Rebekah Van Orden, and office manager Alfonso Solis, during the California Small Business Day awards lunch in Sacramento.

Oceanside Therapy Group exemplifies the best qualities of a successful small business - hard work, dedication and service. The Van Ordens and their employees can take pride in building a business that has become an important part of Oceanside. I am honored to recognize them for their work to help improve the lives of many families across North San Diego County.

Founded in 2009, OTG offers speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Located close to Camp Pendleton, OTG works with many military families.

California Small Business Day honored 85 small businesses this year for their contributions to 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.

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Transportation Update

Nightime traffic

Orange County: Proposed Toll Road Extensions

Many constituents have expressed concern regarding proposed toll road extensions that could go through San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and/or Rancho Mission Viejo.

After reviewing the proposals put forth by the Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) and listening to and consulting with many residents and stakeholders regarding this issue, I believe that the proposed alignments could irreparably harm the quality of life of affected communities. Therefore, I oppose those proposed extensions.

While the proposed toll road extensions are still that - proposals - it is important for everyone to be informed. To learn more and get involved, visit

San Diego County: Transportation Agencies

The Senate will soon consider a bill approved by the State Assembly that would make changes to the governance and financing authority of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, and the North County Transit District.

The bill, AB 805 (Gonzalez-Fletcher), would essentially make it easier to approve new tax increases for local mass transit systems. I have not reviewed the bill in-depth, but I am generally wary of any bill that makes it easier to raise taxes.

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Budget Update

Stock photo of calculator and budget sheet

The Legislature passed the 2017-18 state budget on June 15. While the budget is an improvement compared to what was first proposed earlier this year, it must be noted that it is the biggest in the state’s history.

The budget continues a trail of broken promises and bait-and-switch maneuvers exploiting the initiative process. For example, voters approved the tobacco tax initiative last year because they were told those tax dollars would go to help address the shortage of doctors and dentists serving disadvantaged Californians. This budget fails to dedicate all of those tobacco tax dollars for health care. It also ignores a school bond initiative voters approved which would have gone to building and modernizing classrooms for our students and teachers.

The enacted budget can be found at

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Legislative Update

California State Senate Chambers
California State Senate Chambers

Legislative policy committees have begun in earnest again after the passage of the state budget. Over the next several weeks, Senate committees will consider bills approved by the Assembly. The Assembly in turn will consider bills approved by the Senate.

I have seven bills still alive in the Assembly that must be presented in committee before the Legislature adjourns for Summer Recess. These bills range from local issues to larger public safety measures.

This is the first year of a two-year session, so bills that have not passed their houses by the respective deadlines will have a chance in January of next year to keep moving. I will be sure to keep you apprised of any developments. For the latest updates on my legislation, please click here.

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Early Release for Gun Criminals?

Sen. Bates explains her opposition to Senate Bill 620, which would allow courts to lower criminal penalties for those who use guns while committing a felony.
Sen. Bates explains her opposition to Senate Bill 620, which would allow courts to lower criminal penalties for those who use guns while committing a felony.

Believe it or not, the Senate recently passed Senate Bill 620 - a bill that would allow courts to remove sentencing enhancements when a gun is used for felony crimes such as rape!

For a Legislature that has passed numerous gun control laws over the years, SB 620 seems out of place. Supporters of this bill contend that longer prison sentences do not decrease crime and we should focus on rehabilitation instead. I agree that the state can do a better job helping felons to rehabilitate their lives, but reducing penalties on those using a gun to commit a felony is not the answer.

I cannot in good conscience support a bill that removes enhancements when a gun is used for crimes such as rape, oral copulation and sexual penetration. Women who are victimized of these crimes take years to recover, and some never do.

As the California District Attorneys Association points out, for some gun criminals, these additional sentencing enhancements are the only thing keeping them from being eligible for early parole under Proposition 57. I strongly oppose SB 620 and I hope the Assembly will reject it. You can watch my Senate floor speech here.

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Better Schools Now!

Image of the question, Voters approved $9 billion for school construction and modernation. So, why is California not using this money?

In November 2016, California’s voters approved Proposition 51, a $9 billion school bond measure designed to construct and modernize safe and secure schools throughout California.

However, it’s now June and Governor Brown’s administration has been moving too slowly to implement the will of the voters. That is why I am fighting for this critical issue to be addressed.

According to California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing, delaying implementation of Proposition 51 means many badly needed local school construction and modernization projects may not be funded until 2020. Currently, there are new construction and modernization projects in our communities waiting for Proposition 51 funding. Without immediate action, such projects will be delayed, increasing their cost.

To take action, call the Governor’s office at 916.445.2841 and tell his office you want those school bond dollars released now to build better schools for our children.

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Top Colleges

UC Irvine and UC San Diego banners

Congratulations to UC Irvine and UC San Diego for achieving national honors! UC Irvine earned the number one ranking and UC San Diego earned the number four ranking on the New York Times’ list of “Top Colleges Doing the Most for the American Dream.

The list ranks colleges with a five-year graduation rate of at least 75 percent - based on their commitment to economic diversity. The ranking is based on a combination of the number of lower-and middle-income students that a college enrolls and the price it charges these students. The top of the ranking is dominated by campuses in the University of California system.

UC Irvine and UC San Diego are located just outside the 36th Senate District, but many 36th district residents study and work at the campuses. I am committed to ensuring that California’s public colleges and universities continue to receive the resources they need to serve Californians regardless of income.

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Alzheimer’s Awareness

ScholarShare logo

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Did you know approximately 102,000 Orange and San Diego County residents have Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to grow to 178,000 by 2030?

Join me in helping to raise awareness. Call the Alzheimer’s Association at 1.800.272.3900 for local support and visit the websites below for more information on this disease:

National Alzheimer’s Association:
Alzheimer’s Orange County:
Alzheimer’s San Diego:

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Upcoming Events

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 Fair

Date: Now through July 4
Location: Del Mar Fairgrounds (2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, CA 92014)
About: “There’s a new sheriff in town and it’s you, Pardner. Grab your cowboy hat, pull on your boots, and ride on over to this year’s San Diego County Fair as we celebrate the legendary rough-and-tumble Wild, Wild West.”

Aliso Viejo: City “Sweet 16” Anniversary Party

Date: Saturday, June 24
Time: 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Aliso Viejo Aquatics Center (29 Santa Barbara, Aliso Viejo, 92656)
About: Residents will enjoy a variety of activities including free swim, lawn and board games, contests, music, inflatable amusements, food, and more! Admission is free, with nominal fees for food.

Dana Point: Doheny Surf Festival

Date: Saturday, June 24
Time: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m
Location: Doheny State Beach (25300 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, California 92629)
About: Join others for a celebration of the Southern California surfing life style at the Doheny Surf Festival. This is a FREE event (other than parking admission to the park).

Oceanside Independence Parade

Date: Saturday, July 1
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Coast Highway from Wisconsin Street to Pier View Way
About: Join many others for the 23rd Annual Oceanside Independence Parade as it marches up Coast Highway from Wisconsin Street to Pier View Way. First unit steps off at 10:00 a.m.

Encinitas: Sunday Summer Concerts by the Sea

Date: July 2 and 16, August 6 and 20
Time: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: Moonlight Beach (400 B St, Encinitas, CA 92024)
About: This summer, Encinitas Parks and Recreation brings more fun to the beach concert experience. Each concert date will feature fun games, contests and free stuff!

Dana Point: July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza

Date: Saturday, July 4
Time: 9 p.m. - 11 p.m.
Location: Dana Point Harbor (24650 Dana Point Harbor Drive, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: Don’t miss one of South Orange County’s best aerial fireworks displays over the skies of Doheny State Beach.

Laguna Hills: Fourth of July Celebration

Date: Tuesday, July 4
Time: 4 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Location: Community Center & Sports Complex (25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: Carnival rides and games, live music, patriotic crafts and face painting will all be part of the celebration along with a fabulous fireworks show to conclude the evening. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. Seating is not provided so don’t forget your lawn chairs and umbrellas.

San Clemente: Independence Day Fireworks

Date: Tuesday, July 4
Time: 9 p.m.
Location: 7 Pier (622 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, CA 92672)
About: The fireworks display can also be seen from many beaches and hilltop areas. The end of the pier, opposite the entrance will close at noon on Monday, July 3rd for preliminary preparation and the entire pier will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th at 8 a.m.

San Juan Capistrano: 4th of July Celebration

Date: July 1 to July 4
Time: 12 p.m. - 10 p.m.
Location: 25925 Camino Del Avion, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
About: Carnival operators, Guadagno and Sons Amusements will offer a full scale carnival complete with 17 mechanical rides suitable for children and adults along with a midway for those who want to try their luck at winning a prize at one of the carnival games featured in the midway.

Vista: Independence Day Celebration

Date: Tuesday, July 4
Time: Military Heroes and Sponsor Recognition Salute begins at 7:15 p.m. Fireworks at 9 p.m.
Location: Moonlight Amphitheatre in Brengle Terrace Park (1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084)

Rancho Santa Margarita: Low Cost Pet Vaccination Clinic

Date: Wednesday, July 5
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Bell Tower Regional Community Center (22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)

Carlsbad Triathlon

Date: Sunday, July 9
Time: 7:30 a.m
Location: Tamarack State Beach (Carlsbad Blvd & Tamarack Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92008)
About: The Carlsbad Triathlon course begins at Tamarack Surf Beach, and follows the coastline of Carlsbad, past scenic beaches, lagoons and a wildlife preserve. This sprint triathlon boasts a 1k ocean swim, a 25k rolling bike course and a 5k smooth run for the finish.

San Juan Capistrano: The Write Direction: Writing Your College Admission Essays

Date: Monday, July 10
Time: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Community Presbyterian Church (32202 Del Obispo, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675)
About: The Write Direction is hosting a free workshop for high school seniors who are working on their college admission essays. Students will learn the writing tools they need to tackle this year’s Common Application essay prompts and the University of California personal insight questions.

Costa Mesa: Orange County Fair

Date: July 14 - August 13
Location: 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
About: Farm animals, zany and delicious food, concerts, midway games, blue ribbon winners, shopping, and much more!

San Juan Capistrano: Farmers Market

Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Yorba Street between El Camino Real and Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano
About: The Old Capistrano Certified Farmers Market promotes a healthy lifestyle by providing fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products to shoppers.

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 many meetings, briefings, and other Senate activities, I also:

  • Discussed the latest at the Capitol with NBC San Diego’s Marianne Kushi on “Politically Speaking.” You can watch my interview here.

Senator Bates' interview with NBC San Diego's Marianne Kushi

  • Delivered remarks and answered questions at the California Small Business Day lunch in Sacramento.

Senator Bates at the California Small Business Day lunch in Sacramento

  • Met with members of the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce during their Capitol visit.

Senator Bates meet with members of the Laguna Niguel Chambers of Commerce during their Capitol visit

  • Discussed my new Senate leadership role and my bill with Sen. Toni Atkins to lower the cost of building new medical facilities with Charter Local Edition’s Brad Pomerance.

Senator Bates discusses role and bills with Sen. Toni Atkins

  • And more!

On my behalf, my staff also:

  • Participated in a town hall on human trafficking led by Laguna Niguel Councilmember Elaine Gennawey (2nd right). Panelists included (from left to right) Nicole Strattman, Oree Freeman, OC Sergeant Juan Revles and Jim Carson.

Image of Senator Bates' staff participating meeting about human trafficking

  • Attended Mission Viejo’s Memorial Day Observance. The keynote speaker was Franz VandenBrock (center). He is pictured with his wife Karen (left) and U.S. Marine Colonel Paul Nugent (right), who just returned to Camp Pendleton from Iraq.

Image of Senator Bates' staff at the Memorial Day Observance

  • Honored members of the San Diego Lions Foundation’s Executive Team for their work in supporting students with financial aid to pursue their college educations. From left to right: Dr. Myrna Lazaga, Luz Galindez, Jay Ruiz and Mercy Walters.

Image of Senator Bates' staff honoring the San Diego Lions Foundation's Executive Team

  • Presented certificates to the National Hispanic Business Women Association.

  • Attended Molina Healthcare of California’s 11th annual Community Champions Awards event.

  • Delivered an update to the South Orange County Economic Coalition.

  • Attended the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ public forum at Saddleback College.

  • And 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 305
Sacramento, California 95814

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