Pat's Perspective: Your Legislative Update from Sacramento

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Dear Neighbor,

I wanted to reach out with some important updates from the state and local level. 

The Legislature has reconvened from the summer recess for the final stretch of the 2021-2022 Legislative Session. An overwhelming number of bills are awaiting a final vote before the end of the legislative session — 1,200 bills by some estimates. In order to dispense with all the remaining and active bills, both houses will hold daily floor session from August 15th to August 31st.

The next couple of weeks will consist of long nights and early mornings; however, as your state senator, I will do my best to represent your voice in Sacramento.

Thank you for entrusting me to represent you in the State Legislature. It is an honor to represent the 36th Senate District (South Orange and North San Diego Counties).

As always, if you have any questions or require assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of my offices – we are here to help. 

Thank you. 

Sincerely, 
 

Senator Bates Signature

 

Pat

 


Summary: Enacted 2022-2023 Budget

 

The budget was enacted on June 15th; however, as has been the practice in recent years, the majority party and the governor pass a “budget framework” by the 15th in order to meet the constitutional deadline. The actual budget is passed via additional budget bills, “budget bill juniors” and “budget trailer bills” which include the actual budget allocations for state provided services such as education, human services, health care, transportation, etc. Unfortunately, these bills often address policy issues not related to the budget itself. 

The budget bills and trailer bills have been signed into law by the governor. Below is brief summary of the enacted budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. 

 

Forecasted Revenues

  • The FY 2022-2022 general fund revenues are at $233 billion.
    • $54 billion more (30%) than the original 2021-2022 Budget Act level
      • Revenues are expected to decrease by 4.3% for the 2022-2023 budget year.
  • Back in May Governor Newsom touted an operating budget surplus of $97.5 billion.
    • When we take into account the mandatory Proposition 98 education spending requirements, the surplus drops to $49 billion, or $52 billion according to the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO).
  • Spending levels set by the 2022-2023 budget will outpace the historically high revenues.
    • As a result, the state will be operating with a $6.3 billion deficit in 2023-2024.

Reserves

  • The budget includes $37.2 billion in total reserves.
    • $23.3 billion, Rainy Day Fund
    • $9.5 billion, Proposition 98 Rainy Day Fund
    • $3.5 billion, Special Fund for Economic Uncertainty
    • 900 million, Safety Net Reserve Fund

Taxes

  • $9.5 billion for the Better for Families Tax Refund.
    • One-time payments that range from $200 for an individual making up to $250,000 and up to $1,050 for a couple with dependents making less than $150,000.
  • Suspension of the sales tax on diesel fuel for one year.
    • Estimated to be $439 million in relief

Although the budget includes funding for necessary programs, it fails to address some significant issues. 

While I can appreciate the fact that this year’s budget allocates $116 million for drought resistance, it is well below the $3.285 billion my Senate Republican colleagues and I requested earlier this year. With an operating budget surplus of up to $97 billion (according to the governor), there should be no excuse as to why we can’t allocate $2.6 billion to fully fund the already voter-approved Sites Reservoir and an additional $685 million to repair the Friant-Kern/Delta-Mendota Canals and the San Luis Field/San Joaquin Divisions of the California Aqueduct. 

As our economy begins to bounce back after being shut down as a result of the Covid-19 lockdowns, the state was forced to take out loans from the federal government in order to pay out the overwhelming number of unemployment insurance claims. The current balance of the loan is $18 billion; however, legislative leadership only allocated $250 million toward paying down the loan. Clearly, more needs to be done. Senate Republicans sent a letter to the governor requesting $3 billion to go toward paying down the Unemployment Insurance Fund debt. If the state fails to adequately pay down the balance of the loan, then California businesses will be required to pay down this enormous debt. 

Governor Newsom and Democratic leadership provided funding for various homeless related programs, they failed to provide funding for something we desperately need: treatment beds. There is no real path to solving California’s homelessness crisis that does not involve expanding treatment capacity. Legislative Republicans called for a $10 billion dollar investment toward additional treatment facilities. Sadly, our request was ignored. 

Not included this year’s budget was a suspension of the state’s gas tax. Failure to provide significant relief from record high gas prices hurts hard-working families struggling to make ends meet. My Republican colleagues and I pushed to fully suspend the state’s gas tax for six months — similar to what other states have done. 

I hope this brief summary is helpful. I encourage you to review the budget yourself to learn more about what exactly was funded this year. You can view the entire 2022-2023 budget here.

 


36th District Highlights

 

  • The California State Auditor recently published a report on the State Water Resources Control Board’s efforts to provide California residents with safe drinking water. The State Auditor found that more than 370 water systems were not meeting water quality standards as of December 2021. Orange and San Diego Counties water systems are providing safe drinking water with minimal issues.
    • State Water Resources Control Board: It Lacks the Urgency Necessary to Ensure That Failing Water Systems Receive Much Needed Assistance in a Timely Matter | Fact Sheet
       
  • California residents age 70 and older have five more months to take advantage of the temporary rule allowing them to renew their driver’s licenses or identification (ID) cards online or by mail. Until the end of 2022, eligible senior drivers and REAL ID cardholders can renew noncommercial driver’s licenses and ID cards at dmv.ca.gov/online or by mail, even if their renewal notice states a visit to a DMV field office is required. For more information on renewing your driver’s license or identification card, click here.
DMV logo

 

  • I was proud to recognize the San Juan Hills High School Boys’ Basketball team for becoming the 2022 CIF-SS Division 2A State Champions earlier this year. Leading the team to victory were seniors John McFadden and Mark Reichner. Both McFadden and Reichner were selected as the 2022 CIF-Division 2A Co-Player of the Year. Reichner was also recognized as the 2022 Sea View League Co-MVP. Head coach Jason Efstathiou was also honored as the CIF-SS Division 2A Coach of the Year. Congratulations to the team!
Senator Bates recognizing the San Juan Hills High School Boys Basketball team

 

Senator Bates recognizing Head coach Jason Efstathiou

 

  • I was honored to attend the dedication ceremony of Hansen Plaza at Dana Point Harbor on August 3. A special plaque was dedicated in memory of Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching founder, Don Hansen. 
Senator Bates at the dedication ceremony of Hansen Plaza at Dana Point Harbor

 

Image of Donald Hansen plaque

 

  • My Senate Fellow Manson Tung and District Representative Rhonda Reardon were able to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of A2 Dental in Rancho Santa Margarita. 
Image of ribbon cutting ceremony

 

  • District Representative Candice Burroughs and Senate Fellow Manson Tung presented a Senate Certificate of Recognition to Crestavilla celebrating its 5th anniversary.
Image of ribbon cutting ceremony

 

  • My District Director Erik Weigand was able to present a Senate Resolution on my behalf commemorating the opening of The City of Hope, Lennar Foundation Cancer Center. Patients will be able to receive care and treatment from some of the most renowned physicians specializing in cancer-fighting treatment. The resolution was also authored by Senators Josh Newman and Dave Min. 
Image from the opening of The City of Hope, Lennar Foundation Cancer Center.

 

  • I attended a roundtable discussion with community leaders from across South Orange County to discuss the important issues surrounding sober living homes. At the heart of our discussion was ways we could help prevent individuals suffering from addiction fall victim to predatory establishments. 
Image from a roundtable discussion.

 

Image from a roundtable discussion.

 

  • My staff was able to attend the ribbon cutting to celebrate Laquisha Cooks’ new ownership of No Limits Fitness located in Vista. 
Image from ribbon cutting

 

Max Wernher presents No Limits Fitness new owner Laquisha Cook with a Senate Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Senator Bates.

 

  • The Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting ceremony welcoming U Force Fitness into the business community. My office was represented by our Senate Fellow Manson Tung and District Representative Rhonda Reardon.
Image of ribbon cutting ceremony

 

  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices recently became a new member of the Vista Chamber of Commerce. Vista realtor Marlyn Meckel was presented with a Senate Certificate of Recognition on my behalf by Max Wernher who serves in my office as a District Representative. 
Image of Marlyn Meckel receiving a Senate Certificate of Recognition

 

  • I joined other legislators in a visit to life sciences company Masimo as part of the Biotechnology Innovation Tour coordinated by California Life Sciences. Orange and San Diego Counties are home to a dynamic life sciences industry. In addition to learning about Masimo’s latest developments, we also talked about our shared commitment to providing new solutions to the opioid crisis. 
Senator Bates on a visit to life sciences company Masimo as part of the Biotechnology Innovation Tour

 

  • My staff was able to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Dea Hurtson New Village Arts Center in Carlsbad opening on December 1st.
SD 36 District Representative Max Wernher presents a Senate Certificate of Recognition to Kristianne Kurner, founder and Executive Director of center

 

  • Alan Pickering, owner of the new hotel ’The Rancho Vista’ celebrated its ribbon cutting in Vista. SD 36 District Representative Max Wernher presented Mr. Pickering with a Senate Certificate of Recognition.
Mr. Pickering being presented with a Senate Certificate of Recognition

 

  • My staff was able to attend the ribbon cutting and 1-year anniversary celebration for Westmont of Encinitas. Westmont of Encinitas an offers affordable senor living housing in North San Diego County.
My staff at the ribbon cutting ceremony

 

  • My Senate Fellow Manson Tung and District Representative Rhonda Reardon presented a Senate Certificate of Recognition to WWII Army Air Corps veteran, Cliff Gunderson on his 100th birthday. After the war, Cliff returned to the states and served as an educator for 34 years where he taught over 5,000 students.
My Senate Fellow Manson Tung and District Representative Rhonda Reardon presented a Senate Certificate of Recognition to WWII Army Air Corps veteran, Cliff Gunderson on his 100th birthday.