In the News

ThinkProgress: An ‘Ugly Policy’ Systematically Devalues Poor Children. One State Is Ready To Stop It.

July 01, 2015

In most states, when a family in need has a new child, their welfare benefits increase to cover the extra costs that come with a new family member. But 16 other states operate differently, limiting benefits after a certain number of children in the express hopes of discouraging poor mothers from having more children.


Sacramento Bee: California law decried after black woman's 'lynching' arrest

July 01, 2015

"To come full circle 2015 and have a woman of color charged with that crime — the irony was not lost on me," said state Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, the black legislator who introduced the bill. She said that although the code was originally designed to protect African Americans in police custody, the word "lynching" should no longer be attached to the law.


LA Daily News: California senators chosen to discuss funding for developmentally disabled

June 25, 2015

State senators who will serve on a special session to discuss additional funding for services for those with developmental disabilities have been chosen, but it’s uncertain when the committee will convene.


Sacramento Bee Editorial: Time to end outdated and humiliating welfare law

June 15, 2015

Democratic legislators want to write the longstanding limitation out of the state budget, and for that, they deserve kudos. Doing so is expensive – close to an estimated $210 million more a year to cover all the children not covered by CalWORKs.

It’s time to do what many other states have done – unload it. Studies have shown it has no discernible impact, one way or another, on the size of low-income families. But more importantly, it doesn’t reflect our core values. This is California. Humiliation isn’t how we do poverty.


LA Times: California state senators to propose overhaul of Prop. 13

June 10, 2015

SACRAMENTO — Two Democratic state senators plan to introduce legislation Wednesday to overhaul Proposition 13, the state's landmark restrictions on property taxes, so local governments can raise more revenue from commercial and industrial properties.

The measure would allow for regular reassessments of offices, factories and other buildings, ensuring that they are taxed at closer to current market value. Currently they're reassessed only when there's a change in ownership.

Sacramento Bee: Prop. 13 overhaul targets commercial property tax rates

June 10, 2015

Facing long political odds, state Sens. Loni Hancock and Holly Mitchell introduced on Wednesday a constitutional amendment to overhaul portions of Proposition 13, California’s landmark tax-limiting measure.

Under current law, property tax reassessments occur only after changes in ownership or new construction. SCA 5 would introduce annual assessments of commercial and industrial properties to more closely tie their tax rates to current market value.

Senator Mitchell Announces Bill for Property Tax Reform

June 10, 2015

Thank you all for being here today.

We’re here to talk about SCA 5, new legislation that will finally reform our commercial property tax system and make it fair.

The problems are thirty plus years in the making:

We have large corporations and wealthy commercial property investors that have used loopholes in the law to avoid paying their fair share.

We have large, multi-billion dollar corporations that actually have a competitive advantage over smaller start-ups simply based on when a property was purchased.

Sacramento Bee: It’s time to make Prop. 13 fairer for homeowners

June 09, 2015

Now is the time to rebalance the scale so that homeowners and big businesses are all invested in their community’s success. It’s also a chance to make government more accountable.

KPCC: Advocates for California's poor disappointed with Governor's budget

May 19, 2015

Advocates for the state's poor and disabled said Governor Jerry Brown's revised budget doesn't do enough to help the state's most vulnerable.

During the recession, welfare programs in California lost about $15 billion according to Peter Woiwode of the California Partnership, a group that advocates for the state's poor.