Skip to main content
Committees and Caucuses
In The News
Audio and Video
How Can I Help?
Frequently Asked Questions
San Diego County
2016 and Earlier
Orange County Register: Sen. Bates’ legislation helped lead to agreement: Letters
June 11, 2020
Re “New emergency agreement for San Onofre provides millions to local governments” (News, June 4):
Los Angeles Times: Letters to the Editor: Our choice on coastal erosion shouldn't be 'managed retreat' vs. seawalls
June 5, 2020
More people will die from bluff collapses if nothing is done. Unfortunately, the Coastal Commission has become the commission of “no” to virtually any strategy besides managed retreat.
Yes to Justice, No to Violence
June 3, 2020
Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), issued the following statement regarding the events over the past week in the U.S. regarding George Floyd’s death: “The deeply troubling death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has rightly sparked outrage and demands for justice across the nation. Most who...
Times of San Diego: California Legislature Must Act Prudently to Protect Essential State Services
May 23, 2020
Democrats and Republicans must work together to use California’s rainy day fund prudently and reduce spending in a way that will have the least negative impact on Californians. Failure to do so will only worsen and prolong the painful budget deficit we are now seeing.
Coast News: Shore up bluffs to save lives and preserve beach access
May 20, 2020
While powerful forces prefer the state stick to the status quo of doing nothing to shore up our bluffs and improve public safety, I say we must do better.
Orange County Register: SB 994 will improve accuracy of voter rolls: Letters
March 5, 2020
Re “New bill takes aim at voter fraud; raises concerns about voter suppression”
Orange County Register: Assembly Bill 5 takes a sledgehammer to worker freedom
February 25, 2020
Californians deserve better from their state government than another law that would limit their economic opportunities. The Legislature must repeal and replace AB5.
Orange County Register: The DMV should not automatically register voters
December 29, 2019
California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is already dealing with many problems. The last thing that it should be worrying about is whether it is accurately registering people to vote.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Letters: State must consider all climate change options
December 13, 2019
Re “California’s rising sea level demands aggressive response from state” (Dec. 6): I welcome the call for California’s leaders to address sea level rise in the editorial.
Orange County Register: Promises made on the gas tax increase must be promises kept
October 28, 2019
Published by the Orange County Register on October 25, 2019.
Coast News Group: On San Onofre, feds need to do their job, but so does California
May 29, 2019
There is broad consensus among North County residents about the need to move the nuclear waste of the closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) to a safe and secure location.
Los Angeles Times: Letters: A one-line fix for motor voter
April 19, 2019
Published by the Los Angeles Times on April 19, 2019 Re “ Despite its flaws, ‘motor voter’ works ,” editorial, April 15 I commend the editorial board for recognizing the problems plaguing the DMV’s automatic voter registration system, including the registration of noncitizens. The 1993 federal...
San Diego Union-Tribune: How motor voter opt-in process promotes election choice and integrity
March 28, 2019
More eligible people voting in our elections is a good thing for our representative democracy. But automatically registering people to vote without their explicit approval at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has led to unacceptable errors affecting our elections and unfairly putting people at risk of violating election laws.
Orange County Register: Uncollected illegal guns put Californians at risk
March 25, 2019
While it is not easy to find common ground on solutions, I hope we can agree that taking guns away from high-risk individuals with criminal histories and mental health challenges should be a top priority for government.
Orange County Register: The good, the bad and the ugly of Gov. Newsom's budget proposal
January 20, 2019
Gov. Gavin Newsom released his 2019-20 budget earlier this month that, at first glance, has something for everyone to love and dislike. His budget can be classified into three parts — the good, the bad, and the ugly.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Letters: SB 57: Legislation will fix California's motor voter law
December 30, 2018
Re “ Blame California DMV, not ‘motor voter’ law, for problems ” (Dec. 24): I introduced Senate Bill 57 to prevent some of the problems Californians are experiencing at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which includes noncitizens being registered to vote and registration information being...
San Diego Union-Tribune: Republicans must try to limit Democrats' excess
December 13, 2018
Democrats hold every statewide office and wield supermajority power in the Legislature. Elections have consequences and many anticipated that Democrats would quickly push for more taxes, more regulations and more government.
Vista Press: Another Reason Why the DMV Audit is Needed
September 17, 2018
Published by the Vista Press . The mission of the Department of Motor Vehicles is to license drivers, register vehicles, secure identities and regulate the motor vehicle industry. Given the news reports of outrageous wait times, the DMV is having tremendous difficulty carrying out its most basic...
San Diego Union-Tribune: How granny flats help with California's housing shortage
July 6, 2018
California — and San Diego County in particular — has an affordable housing shortage. Coming to a consensus on adequately addressing this shortage has understandably hit speed bumps due to concerns about the environment, public safety and other quality-of-life issues.
Sacramento Bee: Ending prison contract will put disabled out of work and cost taxpayers
June 7, 2018
The Legislature should reject a troubling proposal by the governor to end a state prison's janitorial contract with PRIDE Industries in favor of hiring unionized state employees. A failure to do so will result in a loss for taxpayers, for a vital part of the state's prison health care system and, most importantly, for hard-working people with disabilities.
Dana Point Times: Letters to the Editor: Governor Shortchanging Local School Districts
May 18, 2018
In November 2016, California’s voters approved Proposition 51, a $7 billion bond measure to fund school construction. But so far, only $600 million in school bonds have been sold, and Governor Jerry Brown’s budget for this year proposes only slightly higher bond sales, even though the Coalition for...
Orange County Register: There is no loophole in Proposition 13
April 30, 2018
For decades, California progressives have complained about a “loophole” in Proposition 13 that unfairly benefits the owners of commercial real estate to the detriment of homeowners. This characterization has been widely accepted by the mainstream media with little critical analysis.
Orange County Register: Dangerous flaws in Proposition 57 could result in early release of sex offenders
April 21, 2018
Thanks to Proposition 57, hundreds of sex offenders could be released into our communities through an early parole program. As strong advocates for public safety and most importantly as mothers to our respective families, the prospect of having sexual predators leaving prison early is, to say the least, stomach churning.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Letters: Proposition 13
April 10, 2018
Re “ Less a Prop. 13 fix than a pension bailout ” (April 9). The editorial board is right in calling to correct an outdated interpretation of property “change of ownership” concerning commercial property and Prop. 13. I authored Senate Bill 259 in 2016 that would have ended abuses involving the...
Coast News Group: Education remains key to reducing opioid tragedies
April 6, 2018
The opioid epidemic has negatively impacted the lives of millions of people across the nation, and San Diego County is no exception.
Coast News Group: Lower sentences for gun criminals?
November 2, 2017
The recent massacre in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of at least 59 people has again rekindled an emotional conversation on gun control. As a mother and grandmother, I grieve for those killed and pray for the recovery of the wounded. I share an interest in reducing gun violence as such violence has no place in our society.
Orange County Register: Letters: Go Santa Margarita
August 17, 2017
Re: “Santa Margarita Little League wins West Regional to earn World Series berth” [News, Aug. 13]: As the Little League World Series gets underway, I will be cheering for the Santa Margarita team and I hope all Californians will rally behind them. I am proud of what the Santa Margarita boys have...
Orange County Register: Too soon for county vote centers
June 25, 2017
I support the recent unanimous decision by the Orange County Board of Supervisors to put the brakes on a proposal attempting to create vote centers in limited areas of the county. It was the right decision at the right time. Had the supervisors approved this plan, it would have increased the likelihood of voter fraud in upcoming elections — especially when you consider the wide array of relaxed voting standards recently enacted into law.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Single-payer health plan full of false promises
June 15, 2017
The catch is that this plan would be run by the same state government struggling to fund basic services. Embracing a fantasy that promises everything to everybody, the Senate recently passed Senate Bill 562, which would create a government-run health care monopoly that would essentially outlaw private health insurance.
Times of San Diego: Separating Fact from Fiction in The $52 Billion Gas Tax Increase
May 2, 2017
The largest gas tax increase in California’s history is now law following Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature last Friday. As a strong opponent of the legislation, I urge California’s drivers to learn the facts and to hold accountable those who voted for the tax. Here’s my analysis of the Democratic majority’s claims and the facts behind Senate Bill 1.
Orange County Register: Orange County drivers are no winners in Sacramento backroom deal
April 28, 2017
In recent days, Orange County drivers have heard from some people about how everyone will benefit greatly from the transportation finance bill (Senate Bill 1) that the California Legislature approved this month. More money for road repairs and a constitutional “guarantee” to protect new transportation tax dollars. What’s not to like?
Separating Fact from Fiction on New Gas and Car Taxes
April 25, 2017
As Governor Brown prepares to sign Senate Bill 1 into law that contains the largest gas tax increase in California’s history, Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) today pushed back on certain claims regarding the bill’s purported virtues. As a strong opponent of SB 1, Bates...
Sacramento Bee: Letters: A step to limit big money in politics
March 9, 2017
Re “Lawmakers raised big money for ballot measures – but didn’t spend much of it” (Data Tracker, March 3): The article by The Sacramento Bee’s Jim Miller highlights the need to close loopholes that allow politicians to skirt individual campaign-contribution limits. I authored Senate Bill 1467 last...
Orange County Register: Choose Cooperation over Confrontation
February 6, 2017
The 2016 presidential election is over. With a new president and a new Congress, California’s leaders now face a choice: be at the table or be on the menu. When I watched Gov. Jerry Brown deliver his State of the State speech in Sacramento recently, I agreed when he said, “When California does well...
Sacramento Bee: Letters: Bill targets fentanyl traffickers
January 5, 2017
Re “ Fentanyl is deadly drug du jour ” (Editorials, Jan. 3): The editorial correctly points out that reversing the tragic trend of fentanyl-related deaths “will take work on many fronts.” Last year, I introduced Senate Bill 1323 with Sen. Bob Huff that would have added fentanyl to the list of drugs...
Orange County Register: Letters: How is Prop. 63 money being spent?
October 5, 2016
Re: “Where has $17 billion in California mental-health funds gone?” [Opinion, Sept. 18]: I share the desire of the Register’s editorial board in ensuring that the $17 billion generated by California’s Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63) is spent effectively. Last month, the Legislature...
Orange County Register: Imprisoned felons could determine outcome of local elections
August 29, 2016
As a former social worker, I believe in giving people second chances. But allowing felons to vote while still behind bars? That makes no sense.
San Diego Union-Tribune: Letters: Close the loopholes on contribution limits
August 26, 2016
In response to the U-T’s editorial, “ The problem with California ballot measure committees ” (Aug. 24), the editorial board is right about the need to close loopholes that allow politicians to skirt individual contribution limits. I authored Senate Bill 1467 that would limit the use of ballot...
Orange County Register: Letters: Hit the brakes on term limit extension
July 26, 2016
The Orange County Board of Supervisors is considering placing a measure on this November’s ballot that would ostensibly “strengthen” term limits. The board should reject this self-serving reform proposal crafted “by, for, and on behalf of Supervisor Shawn Nelson” because it is deceptive.
Pat's Perspective: June 2016
June 16, 2016
In this Issue: A Message from Pat | Budget Update | Legislative Update | Sober Living Homes | PTSD Month Aims to Broaden Awareness | Small Business of the Year | National Scholars | Community Spotlight: Vista | Upcoming Events | 36th District Highlights | Connect on Social Media
San Diego Union-Tribune: The truth behind California's hidden gas tax
May 2, 2016
When Californians pay gas taxes at the pump, we expect that money to go toward California’s roads and bridges. Unfortunately, this is not entirely the case.
Orange County Register: Letters: Legislature undermining local control
April 27, 2016
Re: “Don’t put AQMD under CARB’s thumb” [Opinion, April 21]: The Register’s Editorial Board is absolutely correct regarding an effort by some in the Legislature to take more power away from local governments. As a member of the Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee, I voted against Senate Bill...
Coast News Group: Minimum wage will worsen opportunity inequality
April 22, 2016
When Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a new law to increase the minimum wage 50 percent by 2022, it was hailed by some as an historic achievement that will reduce income inequality. But I fear that when the law is fully implemented, income inequality will remain virtually unchanged while making opportunity inequality even worse.
Sacramento Bee: Legislature must close corrupting campaign money loophole
April 18, 2016
February’s sentencing of former state Sen. Leland Yee in a political corruption case closed a dark chapter in the history of the Legislature, and also presents an opportunity to close the legal loopholes that may allow such behavior again.
Sacramento Bee: Letters: We must confront fentanyl scourge
March 30, 2016
Re “Potent drug tied to fatal overdoses ” (Page 1A, March 29): Fentanyl has been making headlines nationwide and has contributed to other overdose crises, and potentially contributed to six deaths in Sacramento County. Fentanyl abuse has become a major problem in Orange County, portions of which we...
Get on the Mailing List
Become a Senate Fellow
Tour the State Capitol
Save Our Water
Register to Vote