Pat's Perspective: November 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

A Message from Pat

“Thank You Veterans” text with an American flag waving in the background

Dear Neighbor,

November 11 is Veterans Day. To all those who have served in the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, thank you for your service.

Helping our veterans is one of my top priorities. As an example, I continue to support and advocate funding for our County Veterans Service Officers, who reach out to local veterans and assist with obtaining benefits.

Regardless of our views on various military conflicts, our nation owes a huge debt of gratitude to all veterans who have served. Such service must never be forgotten.

I hope you find this newsletter to be helpful. As your representative in the California State Senate, please feel free to contact one of my offices if my staff and I can be of assistance.



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Public Safety Power Shutoff

“Public Safety Power Shutoff Update” text with an image of a lightning bolt to symbolize electricity.

In recent weeks, electrical utilities have implemented “public safety power shutoffs” to some communities to reduce the threat of wildfires.

Such power shutoffs cannot be the new “normal” in California. I will continue to engage with my colleagues to find bipartisan solutions to reduce the risk of wildfires AND keep the lights on for all Californians.

In the meantime, the state has launched RESPONSE.CA.GOV to help Californians affected by the wildfires and shutoffs. Please visit this website to get the information you need for your community.

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Legislative Update

California State Capitol
California State Capitol

  • There is news to report on addiction treatment reform, one of the issues I’m focused on in the Legislature. The Governor approved AB 919 that I co-authored to crack down on patient brokering and financial conflicts-of-interest among rehab operators.

    However, the Governor vetoed my SB 589 to ban deceptive marketing in the rehab industry. Despite this setback, I will continue to work with stakeholders to find ways we can protect vulnerable patients and their families. Click here to learn more.

  • The Governor signed SB 541 into law that I authored with Senator Anthony Portantino. It will require the California Department of Education to report on the use of existing lockdown drills in K-12 public schools. Click here to learn more.
  • The Governor also signed my SB 679 to streamline the process for clinical counselors, marriage and family therapists, and social workers in other states to become licensed in California. Click here to learn more.

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In the News

  • Promises made on the gas tax increase must be promises kept. Click here to read my op-ed in the Orange County Register.
  • The Coast News reported on efforts by me and other elected officials to address public safety concerns regarding our coastal bluffs. Click here to learn more.

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Beverage Recycling Update

Many constituents have contacted me regarding the increased difficulty of obtaining a refund of the California Redemption Value (CRV) fee they have paid for cans and bottles given the closure of many recycling centers throughout the state.

The state’s subsidies to the recycling centers have fallen far short of covering the losses that the centers have incurred due to the declines in the value of scrap.

That is why I supported Assembly Bill 54 (Ting), which the Governor signed into law on October 12th. It is a short-term solution to help retailers and will provide additional funding to help keep the remaining recycling centers open.

I will continue to engage with stakeholders to push for a long-term solution that will improve California’s recycling program. Click here to find recycling centers that are still open in the state.

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San Onofre Update

The decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Photo Credit: Southern California Edison.

The California Coastal Commission on October 17 unanimously approved a coastal development permit for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), clearing the way for dismantlement of plant structures and decontamination of the site. Click here to learn more.

I previously served on the San Onofre Community Engagement Panel when I was a county supervisor. I worked with my fellow panelists to address the critical issues raised by the continued storage of SONGS’ waste on-site. While years of federal inaction has stalled progress on moving the waste, I will continue to work hard with all stakeholders to keep that waste secure and ultimately moved out of our region.

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Homelessness Funding

Additional help is coming to our district to address homelessness. The California Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded $2.5 million to Orange and San Diego counties to fund various programs. Click here to learn more.

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Fentanyl Seizures

A tiny amount of fentanyl - much smaller than a penny - is enough to kill a person.
Photo Credit: Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has seen a marked increase in seizures of fentanyl (a synthetic opioid) thus far in 2019, with one recent seizure equaling almost half of the total amount of fentanyl seized in 2018.

I hope the shocking increase in fentanyl seizures will serve as a wake-up call to my legislative colleagues to finally confront the dangers of fentanyl. I will continue to work with OC Sheriff Don Barnes and other law enforcement leaders to champion solutions in the Legislature. Click here to learn more.

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Earthquake Early Warning App

“California Earthquake Early Warning” text with image of a smartphone.

The state has launched the nation’s first statewide Earthquake Early Warning System.

The system marries a smartphone application with traditional alert and warning delivery methods such as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The system uses ground motion sensors from across the state to detect earthquakes before people can feel them and notifies you in real time.

To learn more and download the earthquake early warning app, click here.

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U.S. Census Jobs

“United States Census 2020” with image of raised hands of different people joining together as one team.

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. Earn extra income while helping your community. Click here to learn more about census jobs or call 1.855.JOB.2020.

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Upcoming Events

The events below are just a sample of what’s happening in our beautiful region. While my office strives to include accurate information at the time of publication, event details are subject to change by their organizers.

Carlsbad: Veteran’s Day Military Review

Date: November 11
Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Army Navy Academy - Bliss Stadium (2600 Carlsbad Blvd., Carlsbad, CA 92008)
About: An event to honor military veterans.

Dana Point: Veterans Day Service

Date: November 11
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Strands Vista Park (34201 Selva Road, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934, Ladies Auxiliary and the City of Dana Point recognize all Veterans for their service and sacrifices for America.

Laguna Niguel: Veterans Day Ceremony

Date: November 11
Time: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Sea Country Senior Center (24602 Aliso Creek Road, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: An event to honor military veterans.

Oceanside: Veterans Day Ceremony

Date: November 11
Time: 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: 1617 Mission Ave., Oceanside, CA 92058
About: Sponsored by the Veterans Association of North County, the event’s keynote speaker will be Master Gunnery Sergeant B.D. Lee, USMC (Ret.). He is a fifth generation Californian who served three tours in Iraq.

Dana Point: VFW Post 9934

Date: November 12 (Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month)
Time: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Cannons Seafood Grill - Upstairs (34344 Street of the Green Lantern, Dana Point, CA 92629)
About: VFW Post and Auxiliary 9934 offer many services to the community and engage in various programs, which are sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Department of California and their Ladies Auxiliaries.

Encinitas Holiday Parade

Date: December 7
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA
About: Thousands of people will be on floats, on foot, in cars, and marching in bands while tens of thousands cheer them along the Parade route along Coast Highway 101. Many of the nearly 100 parade entries aim to win a prize in one of the Parade’s judged categories for lights, creativity, performance, music, spirit, and overall impression.

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36th District Highlights

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

  • Visited Grandview Beach in Encinitas, where three people lost their lives when a bluff collapsed last August. I met with a constituent who lives just a block away from the slide area and we discussed how the state government should address erosion, beach access, and public safety issues. I will continue to work very hard with community members on advancing viable solutions to protect our beautiful coast for residents and visitors alike.

Collage of three images of Sen. Bates near Grandview Beach discussing erosion, beach access, and public safety issues with a constituent.

  • Co-hosted the Veterans Resource Fair in Laguna Niguel with Assemblyman Bill Brough. We had an excellent turnout and were able to connect many military veterans and their families to vital services.

Sen. Bates at the Veterans Resource Fair’s American Legion table with two military veterans.

  • Received the Environmental Stewardship Award from the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) for my efforts to increase mattress recycling and keep California green. MRC Managing Director Mike O’Donnell (right) and Program Coordinator Tyler Douthitt presented the award to me in Laguna Hills.

Sen. Bates (center) holding her Environmental Stewardship Award with Mattress Recycling Council Managing Director Mike O’Donnell (right) and Program Coordinator Tyler Douthitt.

  • Presented a legislative resolution to Oceanside City Manager Michelle Skaggs Lawrence during her retirement event. Michelle has served effectively as an Oceanside city employee for more than 30 years, with the last five as city manager.

Sen. Bates hugs Oceanside City Manager Michelle Skaggs Lawrence while Ms. Lawrence’s husbands holds the legislative resolution honoring her service.

  • Toured Applied Medical’s facility in Rancho Santa Margarita. The company manufactures specialized medical equipment used in surgeries.

Sen. Bates and members of Applied Medical pause for a picture inside the company’s facility.

  • Share my perspective at the Vista Chamber of Commerce’s “Meet the Leaders Dinner” which was an opportunity for people to meet elected officials at every level of government, including Vista Mayor Judy Ritter, Supervisor Jim Desmond, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, and Congressman Mike Levin.

Sen. Bates (right) with other local elected officials.

  • And more!

On my behalf, my staff also:

  • Participated in a ribbon-cutting event at the Wyland Foundation in Rancho Santa Margarita. The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, waterways, and marine life. Rhonda Reardon from my Laguna Hills office (4th from right) represented me. Photo Credit: Takata Photo & Design.

Group of several people at the ribbon-cutting of the Wyland Foundation. Three individuals present certificates congratulating the foundation.

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