Patricia Bates

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Patricia Bates
California State Senator Pat Bates.jpg
Minority Leader of the California Senate
In office
April 12, 2017 – March 1, 2019
Preceded byJean Fuller
Succeeded byShannon Grove
Member of the California Senate
from the 36th district
Assumed office
December 1, 2014
Preceded byMark Wyland (redistricted)
Member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors
from the 5th district
In office
January 9, 2007 – December 1, 2014
Preceded byThomas W. Wilson
Succeeded byLisa Bartlett
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 73rd district
In office
December 7, 1998 – November 30, 2004
Preceded byBill Morrow
Succeeded byMimi Walters
Personal details
Patricia Ann Carmody

(1939-12-15) December 15, 1939 (age 81)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationCalifornia State University, Long Beach
Occidental College (BS)

Patricia Carmody "Pat" Bates (born December 15, 1939) is an American Republican politician currently serving in the California State Senate, representing the 36th Senate district, which encompasses parts of Orange and San Diego counties. She served as the Senate's minority leader from 2017 to 2019.[1][2] She previously served as a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors from 2007 to 2014, and the California State Assembly from 1998 to 2004. She also served as the first mayor of Laguna Niguel, California following its incorporation in 1989, and continued to serve on the city council until 1998. Before serving as mayor, she had been employed as a social worker in Los Angeles County.[3]


Patricia Carmody Bates was born in 1939 in Long Beach, California. She attended California State University, Long Beach and earned a Bachelor of Science from Occidental College before marrying architect John Bates.

Bates began her professional career as a social worker in South Central Los Angeles and served as a supervisor and a Deputy Director in the Aged, Blind and Disabled categorical aid programs for the Los Angeles Department of Social Services.[4] Bates said it was this experience as a government bureaucrat that made her realize government's shortcomings and caused her to view some government programs unfavorably.[5]

Early political career[edit]

Laguna Niguel[edit]

Bates was part of the drive to turn Laguna Niguel into a city.[citation needed] Bates ran for a seat on the new city's first city council in 1989. She was elected the city's first mayor by fellow council members. She went on to serve four terms as mayor and was a city council member until 1998.

State Assembly[edit]

Bates was elected to the California State Assembly in 1998. While in the Assembly, she served as vice chair of the Appropriations Committee and vice chair of the Assembly Health Committee. She was re-elected in 2000 and 2002. She was also a founding chair of the Republican Women's Caucus and appointed to the Little Hoover Commission and the California Performance Review Commission during this time. She served in the Assembly until 2004 due to term limits.

Orange County Board of Supervisors[edit]

On January 9, 2007, Bates was sworn-in as an Orange County supervisor. During her tenure, she focused on the county's fiscal outlook, created business/jobs friendly policies, drove on-time delivery of transportation projects, implemented pension and retiree reforms and worked with local groups to protect the county's coastline.[citation needed]

California State Senate[edit]

In 2014, Bates was elected to the California State Senate. She became the Minority Leader of the California State Senate on April 12, 2017, becoming only the second woman in the history of the state to lead a party caucus (the other being her predecessor Jean Fuller.) According to her official Senate biography, Bates strongly supports Proposition 13 and opposes California's gas and car tax increase that was enacted in 2017.[6] Bates endorsed Marco Rubio for President in the 2016 United States Presidential election.[7]

As a state senator, Bates authored the following bills that were signed into law by California's Governor (does not include other bills she has co-authored):


SB 241: Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV)[8] – Extended the date by which Orange County may establish a NEV transportation plan for the Ranch Plan Planned Community.

SB 531: Board of Behavioral Sciences Enforcement[9] – Clarifies how the Board of Behavioral Sciences may deny a petition without a hearing.


SB 423: Medical Waste Disposal[10] – Requires the Department of Toxic Substances Control to convene a Retail Working Group to determine better ways to manage and dispose of household consumer waste.

SB 905: ABC Club Licenses[11] – Allows the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) to issue a club license to nonprofit umbrella organizations serving veterans.

SB 1315: County Budget Adoption[12] – Allows for greater flexibility for counties to comply with budget adoption guidelines.

SB 1360: Fairness in Municipal Police Services Contracts[13] – Requires cities which provide law enforcement services to other cities to charge the actual cost of all services rendered.

SB 1436: Local Agency Executive Compensation[14] – Ensures that the decisions regarding local agency executive compensation are open to the public.

SB 1458: Disabled Veterans, Property Tax[15] – Makes California law consistent with federal law so that any veteran receiving service-connected disability compensation benefits at 100% will be eligible to receive the state's disabled veterans' property tax exemption.


SB 367: Dana Point Harbor Tidelands Grant Lease[16] – Extends available lease terms for Dana Point Harbor from 50 to 66 years.

SB 466: Rental Vehicles: AMBER Alerts[17] – Authorizes electronic surveillance technology to be used, accessed, or obtained by a rental company in circumstances in which the rental vehicle is the subject of an AMBER Alert.

SB 684: Incompetent to Stand Trial: Conservatorship: Treatment[18] – Provides the criminal court with legal options for a mentally ill defendant who has been declared incompetent to stand trial.


SB 70: Real estate: Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice[19]—Allows a narrow exemption from the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

SB 1109: Controlled substances: Schedule II drugs: opioids[20]—Educates and updates policies surrounding the prescription of opioids.[21]

SB 1151: Neighborhood electric vehicles: County of San Diego[22]—Authorizes San Diego County or any city in the county to establish a "Neighborhood Electric Vehicles Transportation Plan" to serve the transportation needs of its residents.[23]

SB 1226: Building standards: building permits[24]—Helps ensure that existing granny flats are safe to live in and help meet the needs of families and communities.[25]


SB 141: Parole: sexually violent offenses: validated risk assessment[26]—Requires all inmates convicted of a sexually violent offense to be evaluated for future risk before they can leave custody.[27]

SB 541: School safety: lockdown drills and multioption response drills: report[28]—Requires the California Department of Education to report on the use of existing lockdown drills in K-12 public schools.[29]

SB 679: Healing arts: therapists and counselors: licensing[30]—Streamlines the process for licensed professional clinical counselors, marriage and family therapists, and clinical social workers in other states to become licensed in California.[31]


SB 934: Corporate taxes: exempt organizations: filing fees[32]—Eliminates the $25 filing fee for the application for tax-exempt status and the annual information return filing fee of $10 for exempt organizations. The law is intended to "help non-profits save money, reduce paperwork, and make more efficient use of state resources."[33]

Political positions[edit]

Gas taxes[edit]

Bates opposed California's 2017 gas and car tax increase (SB 1), calling it a “lemon”[34] and writing that “the big winners of SB1 are bureaucrats who want more money without real accountability and the boosters of high-speed rail whose funding remains untouched.”[35]

High-speed rail[edit]

Bates opposes the continued construction of California's high-speed rail project, saying “It's a boondoggle. At some point you have to pull the plug.”[36] She advocated that the money for high-speed rail be used to fix roads instead.[37]

Sober living homes and residential treatment facilities[edit]

Bates authored legislation to require criminal background checks on people owning rehabs and working in the industry. She wants the federal government to give local governments tools to help regulate such facilities. She credited Southern California New Group's “Rehab Riviera” coverage for raising greater awareness of the issue.[38]

Opioid crisis[edit]

Bates authored bills to address opioid abuse and to improve regulation of facilities that shelter and treat drug addicts.[39] She authored SB 1109 that was signed by Governor Jerry Brown to increase education for people who are prescribed opioids and to increase training for medical professionals.[40]

Public safety[edit]

Bates authored legislation to reclassify several offenses as “violent” felonies to close what she believes are loopholes in state law. She sides with prosecutors arguing that the state's violent felony list could allow some dangerous inmates to walk free.[41]

Bates was honored by Crime Victims United of California as one of its legislators of the year.[42]


Bates endorsed California's Proposition 51 of 2016, which authorized $9 billion in bonds to fund improvement and construction of school facilities for K-12 schools and community colleges.[43] She urged Governor Jerry Brown to expedite the issuance of the bonds.[44]


Bates supported SR 35, which “supports the current federal prohibition on new oil or gas drilling in federal waters offshore California.”[45] She also supported SR 73, which urges the federal government to permanently safeguard and protect the Pacific coast's Outer Continental Shelf from new oil and gas leasing.[46] She has publicly stated that "Sea level rise and coastal erosion are two major threats to California’s coast" and that "Legislators must come together to find a consensus on solutions."[47]

In 2020, Bates voted to support AB 793 (Ting) that was approved by Governor Newsom,[48] which mandates plastic beverage bottles must contain on average 50 percent recycled plastic by 2030. The executive director of Californians Against Waste, a Sacramento-based environmental group, called AB 793 the “most ambitious, aggressive recycled plastics content law in the world.”[49] An article in the San Jose Mercury News described AB 793 as “among the most significant environmental laws that passed this year.”[50] Bates also voted for two other measures approved by Governor Newsom: AB 2762 (Muratsuchi) that bans 24 toxic chemicals in cosmetics, which are linked to negative long-term health impacts,[51] and SB 312 (Leyva) that requires companies selling beauty or personal care products to report the presence of hazardous ingredients.[52]

Health care[edit]

Bates opposed a bill that would establish a single-payer health care system in California, agreeing with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon that it was “woefully incomplete” because it did not address financing and other concerns.[53] She also called the bill “a false promise that would ruin the state’s precarious finances and threaten funding for other critical priorities.” She said the “Legislature should refocus its efforts on improving existing health programs and on helping those who do not have access to necessary care.”[54]

In 2015, Bates introduced legislation to allow Saddleback Memorial Medical Center's San Clemente campus to operate as a stand-alone emergency room in an effort to keep the ER open.[55]

Electric vehicles[edit]

Bates has twice supported city plans that serve the needs of electric vehicles.[8][56]

Net neutrality[edit]

Bates opposed net neutrality guidelines proposed in California which would have ensured network providers can't restrict bandwidth to certain services or websites. She stated these guidelines should be left to the federal government.[57]


Bates endorsed Marco Rubio as the 2016 GOP presidential candidate and served as a "California co-chair," stating that "he'll make the 'American dream' accessible to everyone."[58] She said in early 2016 she would support Trump if he won the GOP nomination.[59] In January 2018, she was quoted as saying that state Democrats were far more focused on opposing the Trump administration than they were on issues important to California, saying state legislators spent "way too much time focusing on what President Trump and the federal government are doing."[60]

Sexual harassment[edit]

Bates called on legislative leaders to allow whistleblowers to speak out on sexual harassment by releasing them from non-disclosure agreements. She also called on the Senate and Assembly to convene both houses’ rules committees — which act as the chambers’ human resources departments — to have a “comprehensive, bicameral and bipartisan review.”[61]


Bates co-authored legislation signed by Governor Brown in 2018 allowing the creation of an Orange County trust to help house homeless people.[62]

Campaign finance[edit]

In August 2018, Bates opposed the advancement of a bill giving legislative leaders more campaign cash.[63] In April 2016, she and a former chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission advocated for the passage of a bill that “would bar candidates and elected officials from using money from candidate-controlled committees to promote themselves, their candidacies or the campaigns of others.”[64] In 2017, she co-authored Senate Bill 45 (Mendoza) that prohibits taxpayer-paid mass mailings from being sent to constituents within 60 days preceding an election by or on behalf of a state or local candidate running for office. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 45 into law.[65]

Personal life[edit]

Bates is a Southern California native and grew up in Long Beach, California. She moved to South Orange County four decades ago. Her husband John Bates is a retired architect. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.[66]


  1. ^ "Monday, April 17, 2017" (PDF). Senate Daily Journal. Sacramento, California: Secretary of the California State Senate. p. 665. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  2. ^ McGreevy, Patrick (March 14, 2017). "Caucus elects Patricia Bates as Senate Republican leader". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Bollag, Sophia (March 14, 2017). "California Senate Republicans Elect Patricia Bates as Leader". Associated press. Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  5. ^ "Occidental College Magazine".
  6. ^ "Bates' official Senate biography".
  7. ^ Los Angeles Times (January 8, 2016). "6 California lawmakers and San Diego mayor back Marco Rubio for president". Los Angeles Times.
  8. ^ a b "California Legislative Information".
  9. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  10. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  11. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  12. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  13. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  14. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  15. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  16. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  17. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  18. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  19. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  20. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  21. ^ "Education remains key to reducing opioid tragedies".
  22. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  23. ^ "New Electric Vehicle Legislation Could Change How San Diegans Commute".
  24. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  25. ^ "How granny flats help with California's housing shortage".
  26. ^ "California Legislative Information". Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  27. ^ Figueroa, Teri (September 7, 2019). "New law requires assessments of potential parolees convicted of sexual violence". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
  28. ^ "Bill Text - SB-541 School safety: lockdown drills and multioption response drills: report". Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  29. ^ "Governor Newsom Signs Bill Evaluating School Lockdown Drills". Fox 40 Sacramento. October 13, 2019.
  30. ^ "Bill Text - SB-679 Healing arts: therapists and counselors: licensing". Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  31. ^ Libby, Sara (October 4, 2019). "Sacramento Report: Many Bill Signings and One Big Veto". Voice of San Diego.
  32. ^ "Bill Text - SB-934 Corporate taxes: exempt organizations: filing fees". California Legislative Information.
  33. ^ Symon, Evan (September 10, 2020). "Gov. Newsom Signs Bill To Eliminate Non-Profit State Filing Fees". California Globe.
  34. ^ Gorman, Steve (April 28, 2017). "California enacts $52 billion fuel tax hike for road, bridge repairs". Reuters.
  35. ^ "Orange County drivers are no winners in Sacramento backroom deal". Orange County Register. April 28, 2017.
  36. ^ Daniels, Jeff (March 12, 2018). "California's $77 billion 'bullet train to nowhere' faces a murky future as political opposition ramps up". CNBC.
  37. ^ "Use high-speed rail funds to fix California roads". San Diego Union-Tribune. November 11, 2015.
  38. ^ Sforza, Teri (September 27, 2018). "New rehab laws may revamp addiction treatment in California". Orange County Register.
  39. ^ Libby, Sara (May 4, 2018). "One Senator's Push to Curb Opioid Abuse — and to Rein in the Facilities That Shelter Addicts". Voice of San Diego.
  40. ^ Libby, Sara (September 28, 2018). "Sacramento Report: Two Housing-Focused Lawmakers Won't Weigh in on Rent Control". Voice of San Diego.
  41. ^ Ulloa, Jazmine (January 27, 2017). "What is a 'violent crime'? For California's new parole law, the definition is murky— and it matters". Los Angeles Times.
  42. ^ Hart, Angela (April 9, 2018). "Rally for crime victims to feature Sacramento DA Anne Marie Schubert". Sacramento Bee.
  43. ^ "California Proposition 51, Public School Facility Bonds (2016)". Ballotpedia.
  44. ^ "Letters to the Editor: Governor Shortchanging Local School Districts". Dana Point Times. May 17, 2018.
  45. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  46. ^ "California Legislative Information".
  47. ^ "Readers React: Climate change is not something California can ignore for long". San Diego Union-Tribune. December 13, 2019.
  48. ^ "AB-793 Recycling: plastic beverage containers: minimum recycled content". California Legislative Information.
  49. ^ Rogers, Paul (September 25, 2020). "California passes first-in-nation plastics recycling law". San Jose Mercury News.
  50. ^ Rogers, Paul (September 25, 2020). "California passes first-in-nation plastics recycling law". San Jose Mercury News.
  51. ^ "AB-2762 Cosmetic products: safety". California Legislative Information.
  52. ^ "SB-312 Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020". California Legislative Information.
  53. ^ Luna, Taryn (May 25, 2017). "No funding plan doesn't stop lawmakers from moving health care bill along". Sacramento Bee.
  54. ^ "Single-payer health plan full of false promises". San Diego Union-Tribune. June 14, 2017.
  55. ^ Swegles, Fred (March 18, 2015). "City weighs option of opening its own hospital if emergency room closes". Orange County Register.
  56. ^ Adan, Melissa (September 28, 2018). "Electric Vehicle Bill Could Change How San Diegans Commute". NBC Southern California. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  57. ^ Anderson, Mark (May 30, 2018). "California net neutrality legislation passes state Senate". Sacramento Business Journal. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  58. ^ Wire, Sarah (January 8, 2016). "6 California lawmakers and San Diego mayor back Marco Rubio for president". Los Angeles Times.
  59. ^ Ismay, Alia (March 24, 2016). "Few GOP leaders address Trump question". San Diego Union-Tribune.
  60. ^ Wilson, Reid (January 18, 2018). "California feels targeted by Trump". The Hill.
  61. ^ Mason, Melanie (December 23, 2017). "California Senate GOP leader: Release Capitol whistleblowers from non-disclosure agreements". Los Angeles Times.
  62. ^ Walker, Theresa (September 11, 2018). "Governor signs bill that allows creation of Orange County trust to help house homeless people". Orange County Register.
  63. ^ Anderson, Bryan (August 24, 2018). "Republicans kill California bill giving legislative leaders more campaign cash". Sacramento Bee.
  64. ^ "Legislature must close corrupting campaign money loophole". Sacramento Bee. April 17, 2016.
  65. ^ "SB-45 Political Reform Act of 1974: mass mailing prohibition". California Legislative Information.
  66. ^ "Bates' official Senate biography".

External links[edit]

California Senate
Preceded by
Jean Fuller
Minority Leader of the California Senate
Succeeded by
Shannon Grove