Meeting Deadlines, Other News from Sen. Blakespear


There’s nothing like a deadline to drive decision-making. This is particularly true in the California State Legislature!

A few notable things happened at the end of the fiscal year that I’d like to highlight.

  • Ballot Battle over PAGA Avoided: The Governor and the Legislature supported an important grand compromise between business groups and labor unions that had been simmering for years. The agreed upon reforms to PAGA (the Private Attorney General Act) resulted in a ballot initiative being withdrawn‚ which means one less item on your ballot this November. The deal gives businesses a “right to cure” an alleged employment violation‚ and protects workers alleging wage theft‚ safety violations or misclassifications. This is exactly the type of issue that needed to be resolved by compromise‚ and not at the ballot box. I’m grateful that all the parties came together to hash it out. Here’s more information from the Governor’s office about the details.

  • Attacking Retail Theft and Fentanyl: We’ve all seen the rise in retail theft and fentanyl use‚ and it’s unacceptable. The Legislature has passed a package of bills known as “Safer California” that attacks the problem in many different ways‚ including expanding access to treatment for fentanyl and boosting prevention efforts and public awareness of the problem. The package also cracks down on retail crime by increasing penalties on repeat offenders and giving law enforcement more tools to make arrests and prosecute retail theft crimes. Also‚ in November‚ voters will get a chance to consider Proposition 36‚ an initiative that increases penalties for theft and drug trafficking and would roll back some provisions of Proposition 47 passed in 2014.

In July‚ I will be very focused on connecting with constituents in my district. I’ll be out in communities and also hosting some important events‚ such as my 2nd Annual Ending Homelessness Summit on July 25 and a screening of the film “We’re all Plastic People Now” on July 30. See below for details about those events.

Finally‚ thank you to all of you who took the time to complete the Constituent Policy Preference Survey I sent out in June. Your feedback and insights are incredibly valuable to me. My goal is to represent you as best as I can‚ and that means understanding which issues are most important to you.

I will use the results to focus my efforts. Survey respondents ranked their top policy concerns as preserving free and fair elections‚ urging the federal government to manage immigration‚ addressing homelessness‚ reducing the budget deficit and improving public safety. Others mentioned they are especially concerned about preventing and reversing climate change.

These are all issues I am working hard on‚ and I will keep you posted on the latest developments.


Cutting Red Tape for Local Government

Places like Pacific Beach and Mission Bay‚ pictured above‚ will benefit from SB 689 and SB 1077

One thing I’m doing at the state level is trying to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy to help residents see improvements more quickly. I am proud to author SB 689‚ which cuts red tape in the development of bike lanes‚ dedicated transit lanes and pedestrian walkways along California’s coastline. This legislation was sponsored by the City of San Diego and is supported by more than a dozen organizations‚ including CalBike‚ Bike San Diego‚ Ride San Diego and the League of California Cities.

The bill will allow local governments in coastal areas to work through the Coastal Commission permitting process in a more streamlined way. This bill has passed the Senate‚ and I am glad to report that last week it was approved by the Assembly Transportation Committee! I have also authored SB 1077 to improve and speed up the process for permitting ADUs in coastal areas‚ which can take up to twice as long as in non-coastal areas. ADUs provide homeowners flexibility to add housing units to their land in a way that minimizes impacts in our neighborhoods. ADUs are a great way to add gentle density. This bill has also passed the Senate and is awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.


Why We Need to Support Rail

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorialized against providing the big investments needed to protect the LOSSAN rail line and ensure rail is a central part of California’s transportation network. I think that is incredibly short-sighted.

If human history has taught us anything‚ it’s that big investments in public infrastructure pay off handsomely in the long run.

Here was my letter to the editor responding:
Sen. Blakespear says valuable rail corridor must not be abandoned

Re “Push to fix lightly used rail corridor at immense cost is nuts” (June 27): Your editorial on the LOSSAN rail line misses the point. It’s clear that we cannot continue to plan‚ operate and maintain the rail corridor as we have. The editorial board offered a false choice of either the status quo or abandoning the rail line‚ which is a disservice to millions of passengers‚ the military and our goods movement network.

Public infrastructure has always been what we collectively agree to invest in – whether that is aqueducts‚ power lines or freeways. Rail is essential to moving large numbers of people and goods in a climate-friendly‚ efficient and enjoyable way. Other governments have invested much more heavily in railroads‚ and we can see the immense benefit of that.

These investments are no different than our continued investment and improvement of other public goods like schools‚ parks‚ roads and public safety. We must not let a challenge be the barrier to progress.

– Sen. Catherine Blakespear‚ D-Encinitas

Visiting the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento

The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 transformed California’s economy and helped propel the growth and success of the Golden State. Rail remains a vital part of the state’s transportation network today. As part of the “Our California! Book Club‚” we will read The Associates: Four Capitalists Who Created California‚ by Richard Rayner. This book is the story of the four men who rose from their position as middle-class merchants in Sacramento to become the force behind the transcontinental railroad. To get more information about the books we read and participate in the book club‚ sign up here.


Support for U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Homelessness


I welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Grants Pass v. Johnson that cities could impose reasonable time‚ place and manner restrictions on where encampments can be located. My statement on the ruling is above. The decision reflected many of the arguments made by the State of California in its amicus brief.

You can read more about the ruling and how it impacts Southern California in the media links below.

New York Times: Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Sleeping Outdoors in Homelessness Case
San Diego Union-Tribune: The U.S. Supreme Court just gave cities more power to clear homeless camps. What does that mean for San Diego County?
Los Angeles Times: Will the Grants Pass ruling on homelessness spur smaller cities to shoo people in L.A.?


Homelessness Summit Set for July 25


Don’t miss my free upcoming Ending Homelessness Summit. You can sign up to attend here. Homelessness and the lack of affordable housing continue to be one of the biggest problems facing San Diego County and the entire state of California. You can watch the last Ending Homelessness Summit‚ held in October 2023 here. I hope you can join us on July 25 at UC San Diego for our next summit.


Remembering the Importance of July 4th — and Our Nation's Founding Principles

I was thrilled to celebrate America’s 248th birthday last week! As Californians‚ we are proud to exemplify the highest ideals of America and its promise.

I introduced a resolution on the Senate floor to commemorate Independence Day and its significance. This is what I said about its importance.


Climate Change Warrior

I recently attended the commencement ceremony at UCSD and was honored to meet former Vice President Al Gore (above)‚ who delivered a passionate keynote address about reversing the climate crisis. His long commitment to fight this problem and get others to take action is inspiring! “The antidote to climate despair is climate action‚” he said.


Completing the Vista Beautificacaion Project

I was happy to join (left to right) Vista City Councilmember Dan O’Donnell‚ Assemblymember Laurie Davis‚ Caltrans Acting North Coast Corridor Director Kareem Scarlett and Vista Mayor John Franklin to commemorate the completion of the project by planting the final tree.

Thanks to a $1.92 million Clean California Grant‚ the City of Vista has made numerous road improvements and landscaping additions to the Highway 78 corridor through the city. They include the planting of ground cover‚ shrubs and trees and the placement of sculptures and other artwork to beautify the route.

These improvements made to the SR-78 and Vista Village Drive interchange will help boost local economic development and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. By engaging the community and transforming the roadside‚ this Clean California initiative enhances the positive experience of commuters as they enter Historic Downtown Vista.

You can find out more about the project here.


July Champion of the Month

Katie Fletcher‚ founder and owner of Local Scoop‚ a bulk refill store.

It is my honor to name Katie Fletcher‚ founder and owner of Local Scoop‚ as my July Champion of the Month in the 38th Senate District. In celebration of “Plastic Free July‚” I am pleased to recognize Katie for her commitment to increasing bulk refill grocery stores in California that reduce the use of plastic and packaging by offering shoppers sustainable alternatives.

Katie‚ a Solana Beach native‚ was inspired by zero-waste stores when she studied abroad. She admired their goals of eliminating single-use packaging through selling in bulk and providing nutritious products made from whole food and environmentally friendly ingredients.

When Katie returned to California‚ she was disheartened when she struggled to find stores that allowed her to refill her containers‚ especially with non-toxic home and body products. This led her to start her own bulk refill grocery store‚ Local Scoop‚ in the city of Encinitas.

Customers bring their own containers and refill them with a wide range of locally sourced‚ environmentally friendly‚ products that include bath‚ body‚ and hair care products‚ essential oils‚ cleaning products‚ candy and chocolate‚ cereal‚ coffee and tea‚ dehydrated dried fruit‚ flours and baking ingredients‚ grains and legumes‚ herbs and spices‚ nuts and seeds‚ oils‚ vinegars and honey‚ pasta‚ pet food‚ produce‚ snacks and superfoods.

It is inspiring to see a visionary business owner in our community who is providing a model for aspiring‚ environmentally conscious entrepreneurs. We wish Katie well as she leads the way to a more sustainable future in our community and beyond.


Screening for We're All Plastic People Now

I hope you can make the screening of this impactful film! RSVP here.


Webinar on Single-Use Plastics

Here’s a chance to learn about the impact of single-use plastics and how to dispose of them properly. Sign up here.

Thank you for your support. I am honored to serve you.

In partnership‚

Contact Info

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Email me at

Call my Encinitas district office at (760) 642-0809
Call my Laguna Hills district office at (949) 598-5850
Call my Capitol office in Sacramento at (916) 651-4038