In the News

March 26, 2012

It seemed like a win-win: Low-income pregnant first-time mothers get the early prenatal care they need and might not be able to afford otherwise for their babies; and taxpayers and insurance companies save money in the long run by reducing the number of notoriously at-risk low-birthweight babies, whose medical needs cost 10 times that of full-term babies.

March 21, 2012

"This bill allows first-time mothers, basically, to become eligible for benefits during their pregnancy," Mitchell said. "Current law delays eligibility for pregnant women until their third trimester." That means women need to get an ultrasound scan to prove their gestational timetable, Mitchell said, and that could be a hardship for many low-income women. It is also important, she said, to make sure that pregnant mothers get the nutrition and support necessary to ensure a normal, healthy baby.


March 12, 2012

Parents, educators and child care providers will have an opportunity this week to tell legislators about the importance of two critical early childhood programs.

March 12, 2012

Toby Douglas took a good amount of heat last Wednesday at an Assembly joint hearing of the committee on Aging and Long-Term Care and the Budget subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

Douglas -- director of the state Department of Health Care Services -- with a full array of budget cuts, program transitions and agency reorganization on his plate, has been making presentations and fielding questions at a number of legislative hearings recently. None of them has been a cakewalk, but this hearing was a little more barbed than most.

March 05, 2012

Phil Ansell, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Social Services, has watched funding for the CalWORKs program diminish over recent years. At an Assembly hearing late last week, Ansell held both hands apart, as if measuring a decent-sized fish in the air.

If this balloon is our welfare-to-work program, he said, then moved his hands closer together, we have managed to shrink it without tearing it.


January 28, 2012

The Casey Anthony case has reached the California Legislature.

The Assembly this week approved new parental obligations in response to the much-publicized Florida case. Anthony waited a month to report her 2-year-old daughter missing but ultimately was acquitted in her death.

Assembly Bill 1432 would make parents or guardians guilty of a misdemeanor if they knowingly fail to report, within 24 hours, the disappearance of a child younger than 14.


January 04, 2012

Assembly Speaker John Perez, center, talks with Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, left, Susan Bonilla D-Concord, right, in the Assembly during the first day of the legislature of the new year at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. Lawmakers face the year with a $13 billion budget deficit and a other hot topics including pension reform, high-speed rail and a multibillion dollar water bond.

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May 25, 2011

The dog-and-pony-show nature of the budget subcommittee hearings was upended yesterday in a hearing on health and human services cutbacks.

The surprising vote at the tail end of yesterday's hearing comes one day in advance of a flurry of subcommittee hearings in the Capitol building today, with accompanying Capitol demonstrations expected outside.


May 03, 2011

Health Services
Los Angeles County

Assembly Member Holly Mitchell, a longtime advocate of children‟s issues and expanded health care, has introduced two bills that would provide reimbursement to the Department of Health Services (DHS) for care provided to vulnerable children. The first of these bills is AB 396 which would allow the State of California to draw down federal matching funds for health services provided by DHS to underage youths from juvenile detention centers and probation camps.

March 25, 2011

I have been in Sacramento as a legislator less than four months. When I arrived, despite being a freshman in the Assembly, I asked to serve on the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services because that is where the battle for the dollars necessary to protect safety net programs for the most vulnerable among us must be fought. As the saying goes, be careful what you ask for. Speaker John Perez appointed me chair of the committee.