Pat's Perspective: October 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

A Message from Pat

Dear Friends,

The Legislature concluded the 2015 legislative session on September 11 after sending hundreds of bills to Governor Jerry Brown. As I explain in this newsletter, the Governor vetoed several bills to improve public safety, while signing many laws that I believe were not needed. His actions remind us that governors almost always have the final say on what bills live or die.

With the Legislature now in recess until January 2016, I have focused most of my time on traveling throughout our district and connecting with constituents. I highlight some of these meetings in this newsletter and look forward to doing more in the weeks to come.

I am also considering bill ideas to present next year. If you have an idea to improve our state, please send me an e-mail at My staff and I will follow-up with you if we need more information.

As always, thank you for the opportunity to serve .



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Governor Rejects Sex Offender GPS Bill

image of Governor Jerry Brown
Governor Jerry Brown

After earning nearly unanimous support in the Legislature, Governor Jerry Brown recently vetoed my Senate Bill 722 that would have cracked down on sex offenders who willfully remove or disable their GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking devices.

I am very disappointed with the Governor’s veto because the savage murders of at least four Orange County women at the hands of sex offenders - who previously removed their GPS devices - clearly showed the need for SB 722. In his veto letter , the Governor essentially wrote that my bill was unnecessary as it would create “increasing complexity without commensurate benefit.”

However, SB 722 would have only applied to sex offenders convicted of the worst sex crimes, including rape, spousal rape and continuous sexual abuse of a child. Had SB 722 been in effect previously, the two Orange County suspects in the four murders would have faced up to three years in state prison (not county jail) for cutting off their devices, possibly changing the course of subsequent events.

I am considering all options in the wake of the Governor’s veto. The four murdered victims and their families deserve better than a generic veto letter from the Governor. As Kathy Menzies, mother of victim Kianna Jackson, 20, said to the Orange County Register after hearing of the Governor’s veto: “He (Brown) obviously has never had to deal with this situation. He doesn’t have a daughter murdered by someone who had taken their bracelets off … The existing laws are absolutely stupid and need to be stricter.” I agree .

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Legislative Update

California State Capitol

This year, the Legislature sent Governor Brown 941 bills. He signed 808 and vetoed 133, for a veto rate of 14 percent. Here is a small sampling of what he signed and vetoed:

**Good Bills Vetoed**

In addition to the Governor’s rejection of my Senate Bill 722, he also vetoed:

Senate Bill 168 (Gaines) : A bill I co-authored with Republican Senator Ted Gaines; this bill would have banned drones from interfering with firefighter efforts to put out fires.

Senate Bill 170 (Gaines) : Another bill I co-authored with Gaines; SB 170 would have made it a state crime to fly a drone over a prison or jail to drop guns, drugs and porn.

Senate Bill 333 (Galgiani) : A bill I co-authored with Democratic Senator Cathleen Galgiani; SB 333 would have created a new tool for prosecutors to combat “date rape” drugs that would-be rapists use to commit sexual assault.

**Good Bills Signed into Law**

Senate Bill 111 (Fuller) : A bill I co-authored with Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller to help secure federal funding for California schools serving military families.

Assembly Bill 489 (Gonzalez) : A bill I co-authored with Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez that makes lifeguards eligible to receive California’s highest public safety honor - the Medal of Valor.

**Bad Bills Signed into Law**

Assembly Bill 219 (Daly) : Substantially increases the cost of road construction by expanding the definition of “public works” to include the hauling and delivery of ready-mixed concrete in order to trigger prevailing wage requirements. “Prevailing wages” inflate the cost of labor and add administrative costs to public works projects, resulting in less work being done for a given amount of taxpayer’s money.

Caltrans alone estimates the cost impact to be between $32 million and $54 million on the projects we are currently trying to fund through the Transportation Special Session. AB 219 will also increase costs for cities, counties, school districts and special districts.

Senate Bill 350 (De León) : Requires 50 percent of California’s energy to come from renewable sources within 15 years. We need more renewable energy, but it is unrealistic to achieve this target as written by this bill without significantly increasing already high energy costs for Californians .

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Veterans Day

Veterans Day Poster

November 11 is Veterans Day, which is observed on the anniversary of the World War I armistice that ended hostilities on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.

This day is a time for us to say thank you to our veterans for their service. With our region home to a large number of veterans thanks to the location of major bases such as Camp Pendleton, their presence reminds us that it takes men and women of great character to keep our nation free.

As your State Senator, I have worked hard to ensure that the needs of our veterans are addressed. I was pleased to support the inclusion of $3 million into the 2015-16 state budget to help County Veterans Service Officers reach out to California’s veterans and provide them with assistance. This month, I co-hosted a Veterans Resource Fair with Assemblyman Bill Brough on October 3 to help connect veterans with services.

There will be a number of Veterans Day events taking place throughout California. You can find one near you beginning November 2 at CalVet’s website .

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Unclaimed Property Program

Unclaimed funds might be waiting for you!

You may be one of the millions of Californians owed money by the State of California.

The state currently possesses more than $7.6 billion in unclaimed property belonging to more than 28 million people and organizations.

The state acquires unclaimed property through California’s Unclaimed Property Law, which requires “holders” such as corporations, business associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies to annually report and deliver property to the State Controller’s office after there has been no customer contact for three years.

Often the owner forgets that the account exists, or moves and does not leave a forwarding address or the forwarding order expires. In some cases, the owner dies and the heirs have no knowledge of the property.

Visit to find out if any of it belongs to you!

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I-5/Ortega Highway Interchange

Collage of images related to the Highway Interchange
Clockwise from top: Delivering remarks at the project completion ceremony, the old interchange and the new and improved interchange.

Good news for commuters traveling on I-5 in South Orange County: the new and improved Ortega Highway Interchange in San Juan Capistrano is officially complete!

The interchange will reduce traffic congestion and boost safety. It was a project that I strongly advocated for at both the state and local levels, and I was pleased to mark its official completion at a ceremony on October 1.

More information about the interchange can be found at .

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Manufacturing Spotlight: Federal Heath Sign Company

Discussing the sign manufacturing process with a Federal Heath employee

On October 2 nd , I visited Oceanside’s Federal Heath Sign Company in honor of Manufacturing Day , which gives companies an opportunity to open their doors and show what manufacturing is - and what it isn’t.

My visit to Federal Heath highlighted its work in creating electric signs and canopies for companies in a variety of fields. The Oceanside-based company employs 450 employees at 20 locations nationwide, including five state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

Federal Heath is the blending of two major sign companies that share over 100 years of history. The company today provides jobs such as estimators, engineers, sales, welders and sign assemblers.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers , California’s manufacturers account for almost 11 percent of the total output in the state, employing more than eight percent of the workforce. We need more manufacturing jobs and one way to encourage that is to streamline laws that stand in the way of more investment in our communities .

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Encinitas Business Roundtable

Photo of Senator Bates speaking with North County restaurant owners
Speaking with North County restaurant owners at Encinitas’ Roxy Restaurant and Ice Cream

On October 14, the California Restaurant Association and I held a roundtable discussion with local restaurant owners at Encinitas’ Roxy Restaurant and Ice Cream.

We discussed numerous concerns raised by owners about the state’s business climate that are making it more difficult for them to stay open and keep prices reasonable for their customers.

Topics included the rise in health care costs, energy rate hikes and new vacation and sick leave mandates.

Shoja Naimi, who owns Roxy Restaurant and Ice Cream, remarked that the cumulative impact of existing laws and regulations makes it difficult for his restaurant to stay in business. “I enjoy serving my customers with the best service at the lowest prices possible,” said Naimi. “However, turning a profit in the restaurant industry is very difficult, a reality of which some government officials seem to be unaware. When you factor in all the price increases and costs we’re facing, we can ill afford another cost increase anywhere else.”

I appreciated the frank discussion I had with the restaurant owners as it gave me a fresh perspective that sometimes gets lost in legislative debates. Meetings like these are one way to hear directly from those who are affected by new economic mandates coming from every level of government .

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StudentCam Competition

StudentCam Banner

C-SPAN is calling for entries in its 2016 StudentCam competition. Now in its 12 th year, C-SPAN’s national contest invites all middle school students (grades 6-8) and high school students (grades 9-12) to produce a five to seven minute video documentary using C-SPAN programming.

For this year, students are being challenged to produce a documentary that focuses on the topic: “Road to the White House: What’s the issue YOU most want candidates to discuss during the 2016 presidential campaign?” The deadline for students to submit entries is Wednesday, January 20, 2016.

The C-SPAN Education Foundation will award 150 student and 53 teacher prizes, totaling $100,000 in cash. Complete competition details and the entry form are available at the competition’s website, .

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Health Care Scholarships

California health care professionals

The Health Professions Education Foundation is a non-profit organization housed within the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, which is part of the California Health and Human Services Agency.

The foundation’s mission is to give incentives to healthcare professionals to work in California’s underserved areas by offering scholarships and loan repayment opportunities. Awards range from $8,000 to $105,000 in exchange for a commitment to work in an underserved area for a period of one to three years.

For more information, please visit the HPEF site at .

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Upcoming Events

The events below are just a taste 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.

Irvine: Connecting Women to Power Business Conference
(Note: Senator Bates is attending this FREE event)

Connecting Women to Power Banner

Date: Wednesday, November 4

Time: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Location: University of California, Irvine - Student Center (311 W. Peltason Drive, Irvine, CA 92697)
About: Sponsored by Board of Equalization Member Diane Harkey, the conference will feature speakers, breakout sessions and more to help connect attendees with business and other opportunities. Event features complimentary breakfast and goodie bags. Men are welcome.

Laguna Niguel: Halloween Party

Date: Thursday, October 29
Time: 12 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Sea Country Senior and Community Center (24602 Aliso Creek Road Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Come and visit Sea Country’s haunted ballroom, if you dare! There will be dancing to ghostly tunes provided by DJ Victor.

San Clemente: Playschool Harvest Festival

Date: Friday, October 30
Time: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Tierra Grande Park (899 Camino Tierra Grande, San Clemente, CA 92673)
About: Join Playschool in celebrating the changing of the seasons! Plus, show off your Halloween costume while enjoying the pumpkin patch and decorating, harvest games and scavenger hunt.

Encinitas: Safe Trick or Treating

Date: Saturday, October 31
Time: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Downtown Encinitas (S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024)
About: Cruise down to “Pumpkin Lane” and see all the decorated pumpkins along the 101. Downtown merchants hand out treats to thousands of costumed kids and Her Royal Highness grants wishes at the Queen’s Court next to the Self-Realization Fellowship Bookstore.

Laguna Hills: Earbud Theatre: Live

Date: Saturday, October 31
Time: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location: Community Center & Sports Complex (25555 Alicia Parkway Laguna Hills, CA 92653)
About: Since 2012, Earbud Theater has been creating strange sonic tales of monsters, aliens, and the terror that might be under your own roof for podcast listeners around the world, winning multiple awards along the way for helping to revive the tradition of the radio play for an iTunes century.

Carlsbad: Street Faire

Date: Sunday, November 1
Time: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Village of Carlsbad
About: Just like at past faires, over 900 vendors will sell everything fathomable, including clothes, accessories, plants, household products, art, antiques and home decor. The international food court will once again feature more than 50 booths serving everything from Thai to Hawaiian cuisine.

Vista: WOW Wednesday at California Center for the Arts

Date: Wednesday, November 4
Time: 2:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: Gloria McClellan Center (1400 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084)
About: First come, first seated. This Wednesday features “Combo Libertad” with a performance that will take you back to the streets of Old Havana with the traditional tres and tresillo, as well as congas, timbales, trumpet, trombone, and bass.

Mission Viejo: Flu Shot Clinic

Date: Thursday, November 5
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center (24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692)
About: Flu shots for people age 18 and older will be provided as the vaccine is available from O.C. Health Care Agency. Drive-through shots for handicapped will also be available.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Performance Breakthrough Conference

Date: Thursday, November 5
Time: 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Location: The Bell Tower (22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
About: Free event promoting career enhancement and business networking.

Oceanside: Beach Cleanup San Diego Chapter

Date: Saturday, November 7
Time: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.
Location: Oceanside Pier, North Side
About: Join the Surfrider Foundation, San Diego County Chapter, for an Oceanside Pier Beach Cleanup. Look for the blue Surfrider Foundation tent. Beach cleanup supplies will be provided, but you are encouraged to bring your own reusable supplies such as buckets and gloves.

Dana Point: Arts & Crafts Fair

Date: Saturday, November 7
Time: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Tierra Grande Park (899 Camino Tierra Grande, San Clemente, CA 92673)

Rancho Santa Margarita: Veterans Day Tribute

Date: Thursday, November 12
Time: Reception at 6 p.m., City Council Meeting at 7 p.m.
Location: Civic Plaza (22112 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688)
About: Veterans, families and friends are cordially invited to join the city for a Veterans Day reception and City Council recognition.

Orange: CalOptima Health and Wellness Community Event

Date: Saturday, November 14
Time: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Event will feature health and wellness information, community resource booths, entertainment and more.
More Information: 714.246.8500

San Juan Capistrano: E-Waste and Shredding Center

Date: Saturday, November 14
Time: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: The City of San Juan Capistrano in partnership with Goodwill of Orange County is hosting a FREE E-Waste and Shredding Event.

Aliso Viejo: Flu Shot Clinic

Date: Saturday, November 21
Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Location: Aliso Viejo Family Resource Center (24671 Via Iglesia, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656)
About: Mission Hospital will be offering a free flu shot clinic for the under- and un-insured members of our community and to those who do not have access to health care.

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

Hosted “Senior Scam Stopper” Seminars in Oceanside on October 15 and Mission Viejo on October 16 to help seniors protect themselves from con artists. In the second photo below, I am pictured with U.S. Representative Mimi Walters (left) and Mission Viejo Councilwoman Wendy Bucknum (center), who partnered with me on the Mission Viejo seminar. We were with representatives from the Alzheimer’s Association who had a table at the event.

1st picture of 36th District Highlights
2nd picture of 36th District Highlights

Co-hosted a Veterans Resource Fair with Assemblyman Bill Brough in Mission Viejo on October 3. Photos courtesy of Asm. Brough’s office.

Photo Collage

Participated at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Vista’s Paseo Point e apartments on September 22. From left to right, I am with Vista Council Member Cody Campbell, Deputy Mayor John J. Aguilera and Council Members Amanda Rigby and John B. Franklin.

Image of Senator Bates at ribbon cutting

Received an awar d for my service on the Orange County Transportation Authority Environmental Oversight Committee. From left to right, I am with Melanie Schlotterbeck, San Clemente Council Member Lori Donchak and Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.

Image of Senator Bates receiving an award

Showed my support for Saint John’s Program for Real Change for po sitively changing the lives of nearly 30,000 homeless women and children in California. The “red door” symbolizes hope for homeless women and children entering Saint John’s.

Image of Senator Bates in front of red door

On my behalf, my office staff also:

Commemorated the 10 th anniversary of San Clemente’s Ma rine Monument on October 11. San Clemente Mayor Chris Hamm is holding the Senate certificate that Kristy Khachigian, my Orange County field representative (second from left) presented on my behalf.

Image of staff presenting certificate

  • Attended a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at Olamendi’s Mexican Restaurant in Dana Point. The restaurant’s owner, Jorge Olamendi, gave an inspiring speech about how lucky he and his family are to live in California. He praised the U.S. for giving him an opportunity to operate his restaurant.
  • Attended the Auto Dealer Scholarship Awards in Mission Viejo.
  • Attended the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s Business Awards.
  • Attended the California Disability Services Association Reception in Del Mar.
  • And much 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 4048
Sacramento, California 95814

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