As the constitutional deadline for adopting California’s budget wound toward a close Sunday evening, freshman Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) cast her vote on the floor of the Senate, rising to make the following statement:
“Many of us stand on this floor and share our personal stories about humble beginnings...about our personal and professional commitment to children and working poor families.
“I would suggest that it is our ACTIONS, our duty as policy makers, as those accountable for the responsible appropriation of the State's precious fiscal resources, that should be the loudest representation of our core beliefs and values.
“So it is with tempered enthusiasm...not with hat in hand, that I cast my singular vote today in support of this budget. I will vote to acknowledge that:
- “Regaining 1500 child care slots is indeed better than none.
- “That increasing the average CalWORKs grant from its current monthly payment of $670 for a family of three to $704 is better than nothing,
- “The provision of community-based re-entry services is indeed THE way to meaningfully combat a 70 percent recidivism rate.
- “Restoring eligibility to the Early Start and Applied Behavioral Analysis Services to our neediest Californians is what we are supposed to do!
“And yet I will not forget (particularly on Father's Day) that:
- “Children in dependency court deserve, and in fact are entitled to, timely representation.
- “Poor women bear children at the same rate as other women across the socio-economic spectrum – and NOT for an additional $112 per month.”