Pat's Perspective

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

A Message from Pat

Dear Neighbor,

The unconscionable death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer has rightly sparked outrage and demands for justice across the nation. Most people who have engaged in protests have been peaceful. Their pain and anger are real. They must be heard and we should all be listening. Click here to read my statement about this critical issue.

On another note, I am continuing to push for additional progress towards a safe reopening of all of California’s economy. You can find an update below, as well as other updates important to our region, such as protecting emergency preparedness at the closed San Onofre nuclear plant.

As always, feel free to contact one of my offices if you have a question or need help with a state agency.

Sincerely,

Pat

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COVID-19 Update

Illustration of the COVID-19 virus. Image credit: Centers for Disease Control.

Like most Californians, I want to see our entire state reopen for business as soon as it is safe to do so. That is why I am working each day with our state, local, and federal partners to ensure our region has the infrastructure in place to meet Governor Newsom’s criteria for reopening.

Orange and San Diego Counties are meeting those criteria stage-by-stage, but we still have more to do. I am encouraged that the Governor is working with larger counties on a full reopening.

In the latest development, bars, gyms and many other venues can begin reopening this month under new state guidance. Counties will decide how far to go under the state guidelines based on local conditions.

We must do everything possible to protect those with underlying conditions while allowing healthy people to go back to work with proper precautions. That is why having the infrastructure in place for increased prevention, testing, and treatment is key to opening California sooner rather than later. I will keep pushing for a full and safe reopening consistent with public health guidelines.

For statewide information on COVID-19, testing, economic reopening, and more, click here.

For COVID-19-related information about your county, click on the links below:

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San Onofre Update

Image of Senator Bates at a “Repeal AB 5” rally at the State Capitol. Image includes a quote from her that reads: “AB 5 took a sledgehammer approach to an employment problem that required a scalpel, which consequently hammered many Californians who truly wish to remain their own bosses.”
The decommissioned San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
Photo Credit: Southern California Edison.

I am pleased legislation that I introduced last year (Senate Bill 465) to protect emergency preparedness funding at the shuttered San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) has led to the ratification of an agreement earlier this month.

Southern California Edison, the counties of Orange and San Diego, and the cities of San Clemente, Dana Point, and San Juan Capistrano announced that they will continue their longstanding collaborative emergency preparedness activities related to SONGS. Since SB 465 is no longer needed, I have removed it from consideration. Click here to learn more.

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Legislative Update

File photo of Senator Bates with military veterans and state legislators at the State Capitol
Senator Bates participating in a virtual Senate committee hearing.

  • California faces a severe budget deficit. Yet the Senate has rejected my SB 1319 that could have generated $269 million in new tax revenue - without raising taxes. This is yet another case of politics prevailing over common sense. Click here to learn more.

  • The Senate Governance and Finance Committee has approved my SB 934 that would eliminate filing fees for non-profit organizations applying for a state tax exemption. It costs more for the FTB to collect these fees from the nonprofits than the amount of money they bring in to the state. Click here to learn more.

  • My effort to stabilize coastal bluffs and preserve beach access has gained bipartisan momentum. I am working with Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), the Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee to try to pass bipartisan legislation before the Legislature adjourns this year. Click here to learn more.

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State Budget Update

On June 15, the Legislature approved a state budget bill without the Governor’s support. Click here to read my thoughts on that bill.

As of this writing, negotiations are continuing between the Governor and legislative leaders on a final budget.

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Environmental Good News

I am pleased that the California State Coastal Conservancy has awarded $177,000 to UCLA to conduct dune restoration performance monitoring for the Cardiff State Beach Living Shoreline Project.

Even in these very difficult times, Californians will continue to work together to ensure the protection of our natural resources. Click here to learn more.

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