In the News

California Deposes Its ‘Welfare Queen’

July 24, 2016


Forty years ago, voters first heard the allegation that there were “welfare queens” — throngs of impoverished mothers supposedly dedicated to bilking programs for the needy by having children. The idea gained enough political traction that California and 21 other states passed “crackdown” laws during the welfare reform era of the 1990s, denying mothers on public assistance additional aid if they had more children.

Growing number of states repeal family welfare caps

July 13, 2016

Vivian Thorp was a single mother of a 4-year-old daughter when she enrolled in California’s welfare-to-work program in 1999. Shortly after, Thorp met her fiance, who was also on public assistance. He struggled with mental illness. Sometimes they were homeless. Then Thorp got pregnant — and pregnant again.

Seize opportunity to reform civil asset forfeiture

July 03, 2016

It’s a widely abused practice that was imposed on America by past state legislatures and the federal government. Civil asset forfeiture has been used to take innocent people’s property for decades, and is perhaps better known as “legal plunder.”

As such, there’s nothing particularly “civil” about civil asset forfeiture, and a California state senator wants to do something about that in the Golden State.

Despite swell of support, SB 966 drug reform bill failed the Assembly Public Safety committee on a 3-2 vote

June 29, 2016

SACRAMENTO — A drug reform bill lauded by many as a prudent step towards reducing the mass incarceration of low-level, non-violent drug offenders failed passage today in the California Legislature.

SB 966, which would have repealed the ability of district attorneys to tack additional sentence enhancements on prior low-level drug crimes, failed the Assembly Public Safety committee on a 3-2 vote, with 2 members abstaining. Four aye votes are needed for passage.

Sen. Holly Mitchell.

No Conviction, No Confiscation

June 23, 2016


By Senator Holly. J. Mitchell Exclusive to the Los Angeles Sentinel

Welfare System Pulls Former Law that Penalized Poor Women for Having More Babies

June 22, 2016


*Thanks in huge part to the efforts put forth by California State Senator, Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), who led the fight to do away with the policy that penalizes poor women (and their children) for having babies while on welfare, the law has been lifted.

by Brainuser1

Editorial Good riddance to a repugnant California cap on family aid

June 16, 2016


By…The Times Editorial Board

As part of the $171-billion budget deal struck by California lawmakers, a failed 20-year experiment in social engineering that tried to discourage poor women from having babies while on welfare will finally be abandoned.

Legislative Women's Caucus marks budget victories

June 15, 2016

By..Chris Megerian

The final budget deal slated for a vote on Wednesday includes some of the top priorities for the California Legislative Women's Caucus, which successfully advocated for more child care funding and the removal of a controversial limit on welfare benefits.

"I'm very pleased," said Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), the caucus chairwoman, after a news conference outside the Capitol. "Focusing on the needs of our families and our children in particular is so important in this state."

Democrats Push Social Policy Agenda in Good Budget Times

June 15, 2016

By Katie Orr

It was an emotional moment for Democratic state Sen. Holly Mitchell. For four years she’d been working to repeal a decades-old welfare rule that limits aid for children. This year’s $122 billion general fund budget finally funded her efforts. At a news conference Tuesday, she thanked advocates.

SacBee applauds success of Mitchell’s 5 year battle to end Max Family Grant limit

June 14, 2016

By the Editorial Board

At long last, California is doing away with one of this state’s crueler laws, one that punishes poor women for getting pregnant and worsens their poverty. This week brought good news for struggling Californians: The maximum family grant is finally going away.