Pat's Perspective: March 2020

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

A Message from Pat… On the Coronavirus

Dear Neighbor,

With many Californians understandably concerned about the spread of coronavirus, the State of California is working with federal and local agencies to keep everyone safe.

Given that this is a rapidly evolving situation, it is important to be calm and informed. For the most up-to-date, accurate information on the coronavirus, please visit:

For my part, I am committed to ensuring that state and local agencies have the resources they need to contain the spread of the coronavirus and help those affected. I commend our public health officials, health professionals, and everyone working to keep California safe from coronavirus.

For your part, the CDC recommends taking every day common sense actions such as washing your hands often and staying home if you are feeling ill. For more information about steps you can take, click on the links above.

As always, please contact one of my offices if you have a question or need help with a state agency.



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Postponed: South OC Senior Day

Out of an abundance of caution for the wellbeing of Californians, Assemblyman Bill Brough and I have postponed our annual South Orange County Senior Day that was to have taken place this Friday, March 13, in Mission Viejo. Click here to learn more.

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Assembly Bill 5

Image of Senator Bates at a “Repeal AB 5” rally at the State Capitol. Image includes a quote from her that reads: “AB 5 took a sledgehammer approach to an employment problem that required a scalpel, which consequently hammered many Californians who truly wish to remain their own bosses.”

I have co-authored a legislative package to address the negative effects of Assembly Bill 5, the new “gig worker” law that has upended the lives of Californians who want to remain their own bosses.

AB 5 should be repealed. But if the Legislature refuses, it should help as many workers in various industries who wish to remain independent. It is time for Democrats and Republicans to work together and address the legitimate concerns of workers hurt by AB 5.

Click here to learn more in an op-ed I wrote for the Orange County Register.

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Veterans Update

File photo of Senator Bates with military veterans and state legislators at the State Capitol

California is missing an opportunity to keep its military veterans in the state and to encourage others to move here.

I am proud to jointly co-author Senator Scott Wilk’s bipartisan SB 1071 to provide tax relief to our veterans. It will help keep more veterans in California by giving them an incentive to pursue a second career here, instead of in other states. It will also help encourage current Camp Pendleton Marines and San Diego Sailors to retire in California when their service is complete.

I am committed to doing everything I can to get SB 1071 passed this year. Click here to learn more.

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Legislative Update

California State Senate Chamber
Senate Chamber, California State Capitol

  • Court hearings for sexually violent predators should be open to the public unless a judge can provide a compelling reason. That is why I have partnered with San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan to author SB 1023 to help ensure transparency. Click here to learn more.
  • I have jointly co-authored the “Voter Roll Accuracy Act” (SB 994) with Senator John Moorlach to increase the accuracy of county voter rolls. Our bill would simply require jury commissioners to share relevant changes in a prospective juror’s voter registration data with county election officials. Click here to learn more.
  • To help make health care more affordable, I have co-authored AB 2384 (Choi) that would create state tax deductions for Health Savings Accounts. Click here to learn more.
  • To improve outcomes for people recovering from substance addiction, I have authored two additional bills this year. Click here to learn more.
  • In partnership with the Franchise Tax Board (FTB), I have authored SB 934 to eliminate filing fees for non-profit organizations applying for a state tax exemption. It costs more for the FTB to collect these fees from the nonprofits than the amount of money they bring in to the state. Click here to learn more.

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Image of bear with text stating, “REAL ID. Safe. Secure. Smart.”

Starting in October 2020, the federal government will require that everyone who wants to fly within the U.S. have a “REAL ID” or other accepted form of identification, such as a passport or military ID.

To get your REAL ID, you have to go to a DMV office and provide specific documents. Click here to learn more about the application process.

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State of the State

The Assembly Chambers, where Governor Newsom delivered his recent State of the State speech.
The Assembly Chambers, where Governor Newsom delivered his recent State of the State speech.

Governor Newsom recently delivered his State of the State speech. He is right when he says it is disgraceful that the state is failing to address homelessness. Click here to learn more.

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Master Plan for Aging

Image of an outline of California, senior citizens, and the text “Together We Engage: Master Plan for Aging.”

With California’s 65-and-older population expected to grow to 8.6 million people by 2030, the Governor has called for the creation of a “Master Plan for Aging” to serve as a blueprint for the public and private sectors to promote healthy aging.

The California Health and Human Services Agency, California Department of Aging, and others are working on developing the Master Plan. They want to hear from you!

Visit to let them know what you would like to see in the Master Plan!

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Civic Involvement Opportunities


The Orange County Health Care Agency is currently recruiting for the CalOptima Board of Directors. CalOptima is Orange County’s single largest health insurer.

Interested applicants can click here for more information. The recruitment period concludes on March 20, 2020.

County of San Diego

The county is seeking volunteers in various areas. Click here to learn more.

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)

OCTA is recruiting members of the public for its Citizens Advisory Committee. Applications are accepted through May 1, 2020. Click here to learn more.

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36th District Highlights

In addition to many meetings, briefings and other Senate activities, I also:

  • Welcomed students from Carlsbad’s La Costa Heights Elementary School to the State Capitol. They were in Sacramento to learn more about California’s history.

Picture of Senator Bates with Carlsbad’s La Costa Heights Elementary School at the State Capitol

  • Showed my support for the students participating in the “You Be the Chemist” SoCal Challenge in Dana Point. The challenge is a collaborative academic competition that celebrates chemistry and promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers.

Senator Bates with students

  • Met with students and representatives affiliated with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association.

Senator Pat Bates meeting with students and representatives affiliated with the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community College Association.

  • Heard from and shared my perspective with the Fourth District Parent Teacher Association (Orange County and a portion of L.A. County) during its legislative visit to Sacramento. As a former PTA member, I appreciate PTA’s advocacy for all youth.

Senator Pat Bates speaking

  • Honored Jennifer Gilmore with a Senate resolution recognizing her 2020 award from The James Irvine Foundation. As CEO of Kitchens for Good, Jennifer tackles hunger and poverty by empowering Californians with skills to provide for themselves. Click here to learn more.

Senator Pat Bates honoring Jennifer Gilmore with a Senate resolution

  • And more!

On my behalf, my staff also:

  • Met with the Alzheimer’s Association at my Capitol office. My Senate Fellow, Jesse Herzer (2nd from right), represented me.

    Jesse Herzer with Alzheimer’s Association at my Capitol office

  • And more!

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