Pat's Perspective: May 2017

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Message from Pat

Dear Neighbor,

One of my top Senate priorities is working to make effective use of the tax dollars you already pay to Sacramento.

That is why I was very disappointed with the recent approval of the new gas and car taxes. The uncomfortable truth of the new tax increases is that some of the transportation taxes we currently pay are being used for other purposes. Even worse, some of the new transportation taxes we will soon pay will be used for other purposes besides road repairs. California’s drivers deserve better. So I will continue to do everything I can to stand up for fiscal responsibility at the State Capitol even when it may not be popular to do so.

With the days getting longer and the weather warming up, there are more outdoor community events being held in South Orange and North San Diego counties. Be sure to check out the “Upcoming Events” section to find an event near you.

Thank you for reading my newsletter. As always, please feel free to contact one of my offices if I can be of assistance on state-related issues.


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Memorial Day

Individual saluting fallen service members

On Memorial Day, my thoughts go to the courageous men and women of the U.S. military who gave their lives in service to our nation.

We can never repay what they gave, but we recognize their sacrifice by showing our respect.

May God bless the fallen and their families, and may we always remember that freedom is not free.

Please see the “Upcoming Events” section below for a listing of Memorial Day events near you.

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Legislative Update

California State Senate Chambers
California State Senate Chambers

Some notable updates concerning my bill package this year:

  • The Senate unanimously approved Senate Bill 197 that I have authored with Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), which would lower the cost of constructing medical facilities in California that serve veterans and active duty troops afflicted with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and related conditions. The bill is now with the State Assembly for its consideration.

  • The Senate Public Safety Committee blocked Senate Bill 75 to reclassify several heinous crimes as “violent.” The committee also blocked Senate Bill 176 to combat opioid trafficking.

  • The Senate Human Services Committee approved Senate Bill 232 to help homeless adults and children by funding innovative anti-poverty programs in the non-profit sector. It is now pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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Car Tax Calculator

image of gasoline pump

As you may know, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Senate Bill 1 that will impose the largest gas tax increase in California’s history and raise the car tax. I strongly opposed SB 1 at every opportunity as I believe Californians got a lemon of a gas and car tax hike.

You can read more about why I opposed SB 1 in a guest editorial that I co-wrote for the Orange County Register here.

You can calculate how much Sacramento’s latest tax hike will cost you here.

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Protecting Our Coast

Image of Oceanside

The state Senate recently passed SR 35 affirming the existing ban on new oil and gas drilling in response to a recent presidential executive order. I supported the resolution to reaffirm California’s commitment to keeping our beautiful coast clean for people and sea life.

To be clear, there was nothing in the president’s April 28th order that changes anything when it comes to off-shore drilling in federal waters off California’s coast. Nonetheless, any oil spill would not only bring untold damage to our natural environment, but also damage the coastal economy that is dependent on tourism.

I believe our efforts to address climate change should focus on providing incentives to innovative clean energy companies in the private sector. Such incentives would promote a strong economy and good jobs as we transition towards more renewable energy.

By continuing to work in a bipartisan manner with the public and private sectors, we can continue to protect our coast for generations to come.

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Transportation Forum

Image containing Public Forum details

The Transportation Corridor Agencies will be hosting a third public forum on June 5th in Mission Viejo. The forum will discuss an environmental settlement agreement and the technical environmental review process regarding traffic relief. You can RSVP for the forum at

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U.S. Service Academy Night

U.S. Service Academy logos

High school students interested in attending one of the U.S. military service academies are invited to attend Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s Service Academy Night on June 2 at 6:30 p.m.

The event will be held at the Orange County Water District Boardroom (18700 Ward St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708). Click here for more information and to RSVP.

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Unclaimed Property

Unclaimed Property text with Cash

From forgotten paychecks to family heirlooms in abandoned safe deposit boxes, the State Controller’s Office is safeguarding more than $8 billion in unclaimed property.

Visit or call (800) 992-4647 to find out if any of it belongs to you!

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ScholarShare - Save for College

ScholarShare logo

ScholarShare is California’s official state-sponsored 529 college savings plan. It provides families a diverse set of low-cost investment options, tax-deferred growth and withdrawals free from state and federal taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and books.

To encourage more California families to start saving for college now, ScholarShare will be offering a $50 contribution to families that open a new ScholarShare account on May 24 to 26. Eligible individuals must open the account with a minimum $50 initial deposit and make automatic monthly contributions at the minimum amount of $25 for at least six consecutive months.

Visit for more information and to enroll!

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Securing Southern California’s Water Future


San Diego County Water Authority logo


Congratulations to the San Diego County Water Authority! On May 10, it was recognized by the nation’s largest statewide coalition of water agencies for innovation and excellence in water resources management with its addition of supplies from the Carlsbad Desalination Project - a project that I strongly support.

“San Diego County Water Authority’s Carlsbad Desalination Project is an example of the creative ingenuity local agencies across California are displaying as they work to bolster local water supplies,” said Association of California Water Agencies President Kathleen Tiegs. “The project re-engineered the way water is delivered, all on a scale that has never been accomplished in the United States.”

The desalination project includes the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which produces approximately 50 million gallons of drinking water daily, and a new 10-mile pipeline and other improvements to the Water Authority’s infrastructure to integrate the desalinated seawater into the regional water supply.

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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.

Oceanside: Operation Appreciation

Date: Saturday, May 20
Time: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater (200 N the Strand, Oceanside, CA 92054)
About: Operation Appreciation is a day-long celebration to thank active duty military and their families for their service. The day includes live entertainment, military displays, sponsor booths, food service and a children’s area with carnival rides.

Laguna Niguel: Human Trafficking Town Hall

Date: Thursday, May 25
Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location: 30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677
About: A public event that will help answer the following questions concerning human trafficking - What is it? Would you recognize the signs? What should you do if you suspect it? How do we help the victims? Due to the sensitive nature of the topic, attendees should be at least 16 years of age. Event presented by Laguna Niguel Council Member Elaine Gennawey and the Laguna Niguel Woman’s Club.

Dana Point: Memorial Day Observance

Date: Monday, May 29
Time: 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Pines Park (34941 Camino Capistrano, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: The VFW Post 9934 and the City of Dana Point will present a beautiful Memorial Day Service in Pines Park honoring the sacrifices made by our nation to earn our freedom. This Memorial Day Service will include special recognition for Vietnam veterans, as a part of the events of the National 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War.

Laguna Hills: Memorial Day Half Marathon

Date: Monday, May 29
Time: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Community Center & Sports Complex (25555 Alicia Parkway, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: Honoring the United States Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion. The race crosses through the cities of Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods, and Laguna Niguel. Runners of all skill levels are welcome to participate in the event of their choice, the Half Marathon (13.1 miles), 10K run/walk (6.2 miles), 5K run/walk (3.1 miles) or Kids Run (1/2 mile).

Mission Viejo: Memorial Day Observance

Date: Monday, May 29
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo, CA, 92691
About: The city will honor those who lost their lives while serving our nation. The program includes local dignitaries, members of Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, keynote speaker, Guest Speaker Frans Vandenbroek and a musical tribute by Dawn Wright, voice of the Anaheim Ducks.

San Clemente: Memorial Day Observance

Date: Monday, May 29
Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: San Clemente Community Center (100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente, CA 92672)
About: The observance features remarks by San Clemente Mayor Kathy Ward, a keynote address by Lt. Col. Luke McConnell, presentation of wreaths and flowers, and bag pipers and tap buglers.

Laguna Hills: 7th Annual South County Job Fair

Date: Thursday, June 1
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Laguna Hills Mall (24155 Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: Over 500 job seekers are expected to attend the job fair to meet with over 50 employers accepting resumes, interviewing and hiring to fill positions throughout Orange County. Free resume critique and professional coaching will also be ongoing during the event. Hosted by Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and Orange County Development Board.

Laguna Hills: OC Passport Day

Date: Saturday, June 3
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Location: Orange County Clerk-Recorder South County Office, Laguna Hills Civic Center (24031 El Toro Road, Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: The event is designed to provide South Orange County residents with the opportunity to obtain a passport without having to miss work. Passport seekers will be able to submit their applications and obtain passport photos at the event. Appointments for passport applications are recommended due to an anticipated increase in demand for services and the fast approaching summer travel season. To save time, passport applications can be completed in advance online at Hosted by Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett and Orange County Clerk-Recorder Hugh Nguyen.

Vista: Free Health Screening

Date: Saturday, June 3
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Brightwood College Vista Campus (2022 University Drive, Vista, CA 92083)
About: Free health screenings, vision screenings, dental exams and more.

Carlsbad: State Beach Classic

Date: Sunday, June 4
Time: All day
Location: Tamarack Beach, Carlsbad
About: Tamarack Beach will come alive with an annual surf contest known as the State Beach Classic - a Tribute to Banning Capps.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Low Cost Pet Vaccination Clinic

Date: Wednesday, June 7
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Bell Tower Regional Community Center (22232 El Paseo Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)

Aliso Viejo: Shredding & E-Waste Collection Event

Date: Saturday, June 10
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Soka University, Parking Lot A
About: Residents can bring up to 10 standard file boxes (10”x 12”x15”) or paper grocery bags per household to shred. There will also be an opportunity to dispose of e-waste.

Oceanside: Heroes Reception

Date: Wednesday, June 14
Time: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Oceanside Museum of Art (704 Pierview Way, Oceanside, CA 92054)
About: Representatives from the Oceanside Police Department, Oceanside Fire Department, Oceanside lifeguards, and teachers from local schools will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the well-being and advancement of Oceanside.

Encinitas: Classic Car Night

Date: Thursday, June 15
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: S. Coast Highway 101 (from D Street to K Street, Encinitas)
About: See hundreds of hot rods, Woodies and other classic and vintage vehicles. The Classic Car Nights series will take place on the third Thursday of every summer month through September from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Laguna Niguel: Shred Identity Theft

Date: Saturday, June 17
Time: 7 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Laguna Niguel City Hall (30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Paper document shredding only. Please remove documents from binders and folders containing any metal heavier than a standard paperclip.

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.

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:

  • Met Julie Hernandez (center) of Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside and Sarah Arce (left) of Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley. I presented them with certificates to recognize their fabulous achievements with the Boys & Girls Clubs (BGC).

    Julie is San Diego County’s BGC Youth of the Year and was recently named California’s Youth of the Year! Julie hopes to attend either UC Berkeley or Stanford University to study chemistry.

    Sarah is Orange County’s Youth of the Year and is planning to attend the University of San Francisco to study accounting.

Senate Bates with Sarah Arce and Julie Hernandez

  • Gave students and parents from San Clemente’s Our Lady of Fatima Parish School a tour of my office and the Senate Chamber. I hope the students’ trip will inspire some of them to pursue careers in public service!

Senator Bates with the students from Our Lady of Fatima Parish School at the Capitol

Senator Bates with the students from Our Lady of Fatima Parish School at the Capitol

  • Applauded the contributions of Hispanic-owned businesses to California’s economy. I spoke at the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce’s Sacramento reception. The chamber represents 800,000 Hispanic business owners in California.

Senator Bates at the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce’s Sacramento reception

  • Met with realtors from Orange and San Diego counties. I’m pictured with Orange County realtors below at a recent reception.

Senator Bates with realtors from Orange and San Diego counties

  • Wore denim as my staff and I stood in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault.

Senator Bates and staff on Denim Day

  • And more!

On my behalf, my staff also:

  • Attended the 4th Annual North County Economic Summit at CSU San Marcos.
  • Participated in the ribbon cutting for HomeSmart Evergree Realty in Aliso Viejo.
  • Presented certificates at the Iranian Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards in Irvine.
  • And more!

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