Pat's Perspective: January 2018

Friday, January 19, 2018

A Message from Pat

Dear Neighbor,

Best wishes to you and your family as we move forward in 2018.

The Legislature has reconvened in Sacramento to begin the second half of the 2017-2018 session. I am reminded yet again of Mark Twain’s quote of “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”

While there is always risk when a Legislature convenes, there is opportunity as well to make progress on vital issues. For example, I am working on priorities that are critical to our district such as reducing opioid-related deaths and injuries, addressing the concerns surrounding sober living homes, and plugging loopholes in existing public safety laws.

Of course, there are new ideas each year to raise taxes and impose more regulations. Most of this year’s ideas have yet to be fully fleshed out, so I will reserve judgment until I actually see details. No matter what is proposed, you can rest assured that I will do my due diligence in studying each bill and listening to both sides of the issue.

As always, feel free to contact one of my offices if I can be of assistance with state agencies, or other issues important to you.

Sincerely,

Pat

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State Budget Update

2017-18 Governor’s Budget

Governor Jerry Brown released his 2018-19 budget proposal on January 10th.

I’m encouraged that the governor wants to add an additional $3.5 billion into the state’s “rainy day” fund. I strongly supported efforts to establish that fund and I share the governor’s concerns about a return to deficit spending as even a mild recession could lead to painful decisions in the future.

My colleagues and I want to ensure that the surplus will not be squandered on spending we cannot afford. The Legislature has until June 15th to pass the budget.

Click here to learn more.

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Sober Living Homes Update

Image of bill introduction
Sen. Bates officially introduces SB 902 to Bernadette McNulty, the Chief Assistant Secretary of the Senate. Putting the bill “across the desk” starts the legislative process.).

Hoping to address some of the concerns raised by a recent investigation into Southern California’s drug rehab industry, I introduced Senate Bill 902 on January 16th.

The intent of the bill is to improve patient well-being and increase public safety of neighborhoods containing rehab operators and sober living homes.

Click here to learn more.

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Housing Discussion

Are you concerned about California’s housing situation? If so, please consider attending a discussion that I will be hosting in partnership with the Building Industry Association (BIA) of San Diego County on Friday, January 26th.

The event will feature a panel discussion and a question-and-answer session for attendees. It will be held at the Sheraton Carlsbad (5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008) from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Panelists include:
Borre Winckel - BIA (moderator)
Ken Sauder - Wakeland Housing & Development
Mary Lydon - Housing You Matters
Dr. Lynn Reaser - Point Loma Nazarene University
Lisa Dunn - Realtor
Vista Deputy Mayor John Aguilera

Space is limited. To RSVP, e-mail me at Senator.Bates@senate.ca.gov or call my Encinitas office at 760.642.0809.

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Flu Season

photo of a woman blowing her nose

California’s emergency rooms are seeing a surge in influenza (flu) cases, leading to long waiting times. Health officials are saying the flu outbreak is the worst they have seen in 15 years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.

The California Department of Public Health is closely monitoring flu activity in the state. For more information about the flu, including where to get a vaccine, click here.

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Be Storm Ready

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Should heavy rains threaten your community, it is important that you take the necessary steps to protect your family, home and belongings.

Here are some resources on how to prepare:

  • California Storm Ready - Includes weather updates and tips on how to prepare.
  • Flood Prepare California - A tool to determine whether your home is at risk of flooding, as well as actions you can take to reduce the threat of damage to your property.
  • National Flood Insurance Program - Information on obtaining flood insurance. Insurance is available to homeowners and renters of both residential and commercial properties.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency - Includes checklists to get ready for storms, including information on how to make a family preparedness kit.
  • Ready OC - Emergency preparedness information for Orange County residents.
  • Ready San Diego - Emergency preparedness information for San Diego County residents.

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Unclaimed Property

Image with Unclaimed Property text

California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires banks, insurance companies, corporations, and certain other entities to report and submit their customers’ property to the State Controller’s Office when there has been no activity for a period of time (generally three years).

Common types of unclaimed property are bank accounts, stocks, bonds, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages, and safe deposit box contents. The Controller safeguards this lost or forgotten property as long as it takes to reunite it with the rightful owners; there is no deadline for claiming it once it is transferred over to the State Controller’s Office.

Click here to find out if the Controller is protecting property in your name.

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Tax Return Assistance

Image of tax form

IRS-certified volunteers can help people with household incomes of $54,000 or less prepare and electronically file a basic tax return for free through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. To find a VITA site near you, click here. Appointments fill up fast and the wait list for assistance can be long. So schedule an appointment soon!

In addition, the California Society of Enrolled Agents and its 19 chapters are sponsoring “Tax Help Day” on February 3. Local agents will be available at locations throughout California to answer your questions on a variety of tax topics. Click here for a list of locations.

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Scholarship Opportunities

graduation cap and money stock photo

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s Student Leaders® Program is accepting applications for the 2018 Student Leaders® program. The program helps students gain a greater understanding of how nonprofits can positively affect the community. It helps develop them as the next generation of leaders through two components:

  • A summer eight-week paid internship with a nonprofit organization selected by the bank.
  • The week-long, all-expense paid Student Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. from July 8-13, 2018.

Students can apply for the program by going to www.bankofamerica.com/studentleaders. The application deadline is February 2, 2018.

To learn about additional scholarship and financial aid opportunities, please visit the California Student Aid Commission at www.csac.ca.gov.

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Upcoming Events

The events below are just a sample 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. In addition, you can find more events in your community by visiting these links:

Aliso Viejo
Carlsbad
Dana Point
Encinitas
Laguna Hills
Laguna Niguel
Mission Viejo
Oceanside
Rancho Santa Margarita
San Clemente
San Juan Capistrano
Vista

Carlsbad: Trail Volunteer Event

Date: Saturday, January 20
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: Coastal Rail Trail in the Village
About: The volunteer trail work at Coastal Rail Trail will include shrub planting, trail maintenance and erosion control. The city will provide new volunteers with a short training on the use of tools. The city will also provide shovels, McClouds, rakes, water and snacks.
More Information: Click here.

Mission Viejo: OCSD Partners in Crime Prevention Workshop Series - Fraud & Cyber Crimes

Date: Wednesday, January 24
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: Norman P. Murray Community & Senior Center (24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo, CA 92692)
About: Fraud & Cyber Crimes are currently some of the most common, fastest growing crimes. Don’t miss this opportunity from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department to gain valuable information and become vigilant on ways to avoid the web of thieves.
More Information: Click here.

Laguna Niguel: Internet Safety for Teens Community Workshop

Date: Thursday, January 25
Time: 7 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Location: City Hall Community Room (30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677)
About: Know what to do to keep your teen safe in the online world? Join us for an Internet Safety Training aimed at 6th-8th grade students and their parents. Seating is limited and registration is required. To reserve your spot, email the name of each participant and phone number to Registration@CityofLagunaNiguel.org.
More Information: Click here.

Oceanside: Meet the City of Oceanside Reception

Date: Thursday, January 25
Time: 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Location: 3202 Vista Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
About: Each year, the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce hosts a “Meet the City Event” to give members and guests the opportunity to network with local elected officials, City of Oceanside staff members and other business and community leaders.
More Information: Click here.

Encinitas: Sandbag Give-a-Way Event

Date: Saturday, February 3
Time: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Location: Public Works/SDWD Facility (160 Calle Magdalena, Encinitas, CA 92024)
About: Sandbags will be available per event to Encinitas residents (no contractors) on a first come, first serve basis. Residents must provide photo identification and show proof of residency. 10 filled sandbags will be given for each address/property (while supply lasts). Residents must self-load and transport the sandbags.
More Information: Click here.

Rancho Santa Margarita: Low-Cost Pet Vaccination Clinic

Date: Wednesday, February 7
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Location: 22232 El Paseo, Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
About: Low-cost dog & cat health care clinic. Vaccinations, microchipping, flea & tick control, and if time allows, nail trims.
More Information: Click here.

Dana Point: Bulky Item Drop Off Event

Date: Saturday, February 10
Time: 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Dana Hills High School and Palisades Elementary School
About: Bulky Item Clean Up events give residents a chance to drop off their bulky items for free instead of taking them to the landfill. Residents can bring e-waste, green waste, large appliances, furniture, and other bulky items that don’t fit in a normal waste container. Many of the items collected at these events can be recycled.
More Information: Click here.

Oceanside: Tax Event at the Oceanside Public Library

Date: Saturday, February 17
Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Civic Center Library (330 N Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054)
About: Prepare and file your federal and state income taxes for free. Volunteers and experts will be onsite to provide assistance. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 866.331.6833.
More Information: Click here.

San Clemente: 90th Anniversary Celebration

Date: Saturday, February 24
Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Location: Ole Hanson Beach Club (105 W. Avenida Pico, San Clemente, CA 92672)
About: The City of San Clemente Celebrates their 90th Anniversary (1928-2018) on San Clemente Day! To commemorate the great history and traditions of the City there will be open houses, historians, and discounts at City facilities including free recreation swimming at the Ole Hanson Beach Club.
More Information: Click here.

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

  • Presented a resolution to Rita Moon at her retirement reception to commemorate her 27 years working for the City of Laguna Niguel!

Image from retirement reception

  • Commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Women’s Club of Oceanside. Assemblyman Rocky Chávez (left) and I presented members and friends of the club with a resolution to recognize this special milestone.

Image from Women’s Club of Oceanside
Image 2 from Women’s Club of Oceanside

  • Welcomed local certified public accountants (CPAs) to the Senate during CalCPA day. (Photo credit: Lorie Shelley, CA State Senate)

Photo with Senator Bates and others on the Senate Floor

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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 Facebook.

To contact me, you can send a message on my website or mail a letter to:

Senator Patricia Bates
State Capitol, Room 305
Sacramento, California 95814

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