Pat's Perspective: Your October Update from Sacramento

Friday, October 1, 2021


A Message from Pat


Dear Neighbor,

The California Legislature ended the 2021 regular session on September 10 and will reconvene in January. The Governor has until October 10 to decide whether to sign or veto more than 700 bills on his desk. Some bills of significance did not make it to the Governor. You can find more information in the next section of this newsletter.

While COVID-19 continues to be a challenge, the good news is that the rate of new infections is trending down and almost 80 percent of Californians have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to data from the California Department of Public Health. Anyone who wants the vaccine can get one at no cost.

Even though most of California’s COVID-19 restrictions on activities and businesses have ended, we must continue to take common sense precautions to keep everyone healthy. For the latest COVID-19 information in California, visit





Legislative Update


Image of the Senate Chamber

Senate Chamber, California State Capitol


The Legislature passed several bills on mostly partisan votes that I believe will endanger public safety. These include:

  • SB 357: Would legalize loitering with intent to engage in prostitution. The stated goal is to help sex trafficking victims, but legalizing loitering is not the answer. I voted no because this bill would remove a tool law enforcement uses to identify and help victims. The bill’s author took the odd step of withholding his bill from the Governor’s consideration until next year.
  • SB 73: Would allow probation for repeat drug offenders including manufacturers, dealers, and cases where a person possessed large quantities of drugs. A more reasonable measure would have focused only on low level-users, but SB 73 goes too far by covering dealers and manufacturers who have harmed others. I voted no.
  • AB 1344: Would exempt needle exchange programs from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Needle exchanges leave streets littered with unsafe needles. I voted no because I believe the exchanges should comply with CEQA.

Housing Bills
The Governor signed SB 9 and SB 10, two significant bills to create new housing supply. While well intentioned, the bills will erode local democracy and undermine single-family neighborhoods. Click here to read an op-ed I wrote for the Times of San Diego on why I opposed these bills.



Golden State Stimulus


As part of the 2021-22 state budget, the Legislature approved providing $8 billion in “Golden State Stimulus” checks for many Californians with an income of $75,000 or less. Recipients who meet the eligibility requirements would receive anywhere from $500-$1,100, depending on their filing status.

The new “Golden State Stimulus” funding assists Californians that were not previously eligible for the first round of state stimulus payments, which went to Californians with very low incomes.

Those who received a “Golden State Stimulus” check last time will not get one this time with one exception: adults with children who got money from the first round will get another $500.

Click here to view eligibility requirements and other details from the California Franchise Tax Board.



Metrolink Service Update


Metrolink image of a train and the text “Track Closure, September 16 – October 3.”


Metrolink has announced that Orange County and Inland Empire-Orange County line service will not operate between the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo and Oceanside stations from September 16 through October 3. The closure is necessary to complete urgent track work and ensure the ongoing safe operation of the rail line. For the latest updates go to



Road Cleanup


Litter continues to be a major problem for many of our communities and I have urged the Governor’s administration to improve trash removal from state highways and other state property.

I welcome the Governor’s announcement to dramatically expand trash removal from state highways and fund local beautification and litter abatement projects in every county, including Orange and San Diego. Click here to learn more.



Property Tax Postponement Program


The State Controller’s Property Tax Postponement Program allows homeowners who are seniors, are blind, or have a disability to defer current-year property taxes on their principal residence if they meet certain criteria, including at least 40 percent equity in the home and an annual household income of $45,810 or less (among other requirements).

Applications are now available and may be submitted between October 1 and February 10 each year. Click here to learn more.



Small Business of the Year


Congratulations to Oceanside’s “The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza,” the 2021 Small Business of the Year for the 36th Senate District. The Privateer represents the best attributes of a small business – local roots, independently owned, and a commitment to the community.

I presented owners Charlie and Sage Anderson with an award at the California Small Business Day awards lunch in Sacramento. Click here to learn more.



36th District Highlights


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

  • Asked the Senate to adjourn in the memory of the U.S. service members who were killed in the August 26 terrorist attack in Afghanistan. I paid tribute to Staff Sgt. Darin Taylor Hoover of Aliso Viejo and the out-of-state service members who were based at Camp Pendleton. My colleagues paid tribute to the service members who lived in their districts. Click here to view my remarks.
  • Presented $7 million in state funding at the Be Well OC Orange Campus. Be Well OC is a community partnership to improve mental health. The check presentation event was the culmination of bipartisan budget efforts this year to help people who are struggling with mental illness and substance abuse. $5 million will go towards building a new Be Well OC campus and $2 million will be used to improve data and service coordination.

Senator Bates (left) presents one of two oversized checks with other legislators and community leaders at the Be Well Orange Campus.


  • Toured the manufacturing facilities of Watkins Wellness in Vista. The company is one of San Diego County’s largest manufacturers and is a California success story. However, the state’s high cost-of-living and difficult business climate are making it challenging for many job creators to expand here. I will continue to advocate for sensible policies in Sacramento that will encourage more local job creation.

Senator Bates with Watkins Wellness President Steven Hammock and Vice President Silvia Rocha-Espino.


  • Presented a joint legislative resolution to Michelle Endo in recognition of her service as the 2020 Board Chair of the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce.

Senator Bates presents a joint legislative resolution to Michelle Endo.


  • Discussed on KUSI-TV my opposition to a bill to legalize loitering with intent to engage in prostitution. Click here to watch the interview.

Image of Senator Bates during interview



State Capitol,
Room 3063
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 651-4036

24031 El Toro Road,
Suite 201A
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
(949) 598-5850

169 Saxony Road,
Suite 103
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 642-0809




To learn more about Sen. Bates’ work in the Senate, please “follow” her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. To contact her, click here.