In the News

SACRAMENTO BEE: Senate leader Kevin de León announces committee assignments, leadership posts

December 21, 2016

PhotoCredit: Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León, D-Los Angeles, in 2014. The Senate leader announced committee assignments Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Hector Amezcua

By Taryn Luna

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León released committee assignments and floor leadership posts for the upcoming session Wednesday, shuffling the chairmanships of some influential panels.

RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH: Making waves in other states!

September 13, 2016

Editorial: Virginia should follow California's example on civil asset forfeiture

Posted: Sunday, September 11, 2016 10:30 pm

Sept. 1, 2016: LOS ANGELES TIMES - California lawmakers advance bill to decriminalize prostitution for minors

September 03, 2016

A controversial bill that would decriminalize prostitution for minors squeezed out of the California Assembly on Thursday and is now headed back to the Senate for a final vote.

SB 1322, authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), would make the crimes of solicitation and loitering with intent to commit prostitution misdemeanors inapplicable to children younger than 18. It also would allow law enforcement to take sexually exploited children into temporary custody if leaving them unattended would pose an immediate threat to their health or safety. 

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Inmates in county jails can't be denied visits from family, under bill now on its way to Gov. Jerry Brown

August 30, 2016

By John Myers

All of California's county jails would be required to provide visits from inmate family members under legislation approved on Monday by the state Senate.

Senate Bill 1157 would force a change in as many 11 counties that have either fully switched to video conferencing or are in the process of eliminating in-person visitation.

"Without this, it means we will have incarcerated people in our jails who are not able to bond with children or family members for years," said state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), the bill's author.

SACRAMENTO BEE: California bill limiting asset seizures by police headed to Jerry Brown

August 24, 2016

A deal struck between California legislators and law enforcement to limit asset seizures of suspected criminals is finally headed to the governor.

The state Senate on Wednesday was poised to unanimously approve Senate Bill 443, a long-in-the-works measure from Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, that would require agencies to obtain convictions in order to keep property taken during criminal investigations under a process known as civil asset forfeiture. (It is currently on call with 37 yes votes, far more than the 21 it needs to pass.)

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE: End policing for profit (SB 443)

August 22, 2016

This is one of those issues where reform-minded Democrats and Republicans should find common cause — ending civil asset forfeiture abuses, also known as “policing for profit.” Civil asset forfeiture is what happens when authorities seize cash, homes, cars or other property because they see a link between the property and a crime. Police may see cash and think drug profits. Prosecutors might take a house used to grow marijuana.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: Assembly votes to limit police from seizing the property of suspected criminals

August 17, 2016

By…Sophia Bollag

Photo Credit: Cash seized in a police raid in downtown Los Angeles in 2014. (U.S. attorney's office)

California lawmakers paved the way Monday to rein in the ability of police departments to seize property from suspected criminals.

The Assembly voted 66-8 in favor of SB 443, which would add limits to using so-called asset forfeiture to seize property from suspects who haven't been convicted of a crime.

CAPITAL PUBLIC RADIO: Civil Asset Forfeiture Deal Passes California Assembly

August 17, 2016

State Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) looks on as the California Assembly approves her civil asset forfeiture bill

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Monday, August 15, 2016 | Sacramento, CA

Law enforcement and civil liberties groups have coalesced behind a bill that would set new limits on public agencies that seize and sell cash and property involved in crimes.

Civil asset forfeiture is often used to fight drug trafficking. But critics say it violates civil liberties.

Bill to stop cops from civil asset forfeiture makes its way thru CA Assembly

August 17, 2016

By Thandisizwe Chimurenga

Picture Caption: Hardworking owners of legal businesses sometimes carry large sums of cash. If cops in Cali catch them with it, it can go bye-bye without any recourse.