June 2015 Newsletter

June 12, 2015
Senator Holly Mitchell


Greetings!

In this edition of my E-Newsletter, I am sharing updates about the State budget and legislation that I am championing, photos from the Capitol and the District, providing information about some upcoming events in the district, and introducing you to new interns and fellows in my office. Constituents will also find details about EDD's new UI OnlineSM system which will make managing unemployment benefit claims easier. I hope you find the information useful and I hope you will continue to share with me your concerns, ideas and enthusiasm for the 30th Senate District.

Warmly,

Holly J. Mitchell
Senator Holly J. Mitchell

Stay Engaged with me in the Senate!  Please visit my website here. It is continuously updated so that you can stay informed about my activities as your representative. You'll find press releases from my office, photos, videos, as well as news coverage on the issues that I am championing on your behalf.

In this Issue


Legislation & Budget

Bills

I've highlighted here a few of my priority pieces of legislation for 2015. My focus is on making sure our communities are safe, that we tackle poverty and substandard housing, that people are able to access and understand their healthcare benefits regardless of their spoken language, and that our students are successful in school and not unfairly penalized or held back. You'll find a more comprehensive list of my 2015 legislative priorities here.

SB 23 - Repeal of the Maximum Family Grant (MFG)

Repeals the MFG rule for CalWORKS recipients that denies aid to infants born into poverty. This bill is supported by a coalition of over 100 organizations which have identified this bill as one of the leading ways to reduce child poverty in California.

Listen to my interview on KPCC's AirTalk here.

SB 227 - Restrictions on Use of the Criminal Grand Jury

Prohibits the use of the criminal grand jury in cases where an officer has been accused of shooting a suspect that resulted in their death, or of use of excessive force that resulted in the death of a suspect. This bill is critical to ensuring that the public has appropriate scrutiny when cases of officer-involved deaths are being investigated.

Watch my interview on KCRA here.

SB 238 - Oversight of Psychotropic Medication Use by Foster Children

Will provide child welfare services social workers with the data, information, and tools needed to provide appropriate oversight of mental health treatments for the children in their care. Some explosive exposés by the press have suggested that children in foster care may be in danger of over medication.

Read the San Jose Mercury News' coverage on the issue and my bill here.

SB 443 - Asset Forfeiture

Prohibits law enforcement from transferring seized drug assets to federal authorities for forfeiture unless a court finds that the federal forfeiture is necessary or appropriate. I have been shocked by intensive reporting of cases where assets have been seized with no due process leaving an innocent person or family with essentially no recourse or ability to recover their seized assets. There has been a nationwide, bipartisan call for civil asset forfeiture reform and I am proud to heed the call in California.

Read more in the LA Times here.

SB 655 - Substandard Housing: Mold

This bill clarifies that demonstrable mold growth is a type of inadequate sanitation and a substandard housing condition and gives code enforcement officers the tools they need to hold negligent homeowners accountable for mold clean-up on their property.

SB 359 - Math Misplacement

Math misplacement occurs when 9th grade students are held back to repeat their 8th grade math course despite achieving a "B" grade or better, or testing at proficient or even advanced level on state assessments. This bill will require school districts to develop, establish, and maintain a math placement policy that will correct this problem and ensure students have access to the classes they need to be college-ready.

Read my Op-ed featured in Capitol Weekly here.

Budget

As we go to press, the Budget is nearing completion and must be passed by June 15th. The Senate Budget Subcommittee 3 on Health and Human Services, which I chair, held 13 hearings. The Senate and Assembly have completed their Budget Proposals and a joint Senate-Assembly Conference Committee is resolving the differences. In addition, Legislative leadership is negotiating with the Governor. We will not know the final outcomes until the Governor signs the final Budget passed by the Senate and Assembly. Keep an eye on my website, Facebook Page, and Twitter for updates. My priorities remain:

  • A strategy to end poverty: My priority is implementing a five year strategy to end poverty with a focus on children and families in deep poverty. No one should be forced to try to raise a family in California on $9,537 a year.
  • Increased investment to end child poverty: My number one budget priority this year is ending the Maximum Family Grant Rule (MFG), which endangers the health and wellbeing of babies born into poverty, while deliberately limiting the reproductive choices and violating the privacy of poor women. Both the Senate and Assembly have included MFG in the Budget.
  • Reinvestment in early care and education: I support the Legislative Women's Caucus' call to return all early care education (ECE) programs administered by the Department of Education to Prop 98 and invest at least $600 million in early care and education. The Senate proposal returns ECE to Prop 98 and invests over $600 million over the next two years; the Assembly proposal leaves ECE in the General Fund and invests $600,000. The Budget Conference Committee is considering both proposals.
  • Reinvestment in human services and safety net programs that offer families and seniors a fighting chance to live beyond the desperate demands of the moment and invest in every child's future. While the need is far greater than the funds the Governor is willing to invest, I am proud of the strategic investments the Senate Budget Subcommittee 3 passed that were accepted by the Senate, including emergency food benefits, restoring key rates for those servicing people with developmental disabilities, investing in foster children and families, and investing in health care and in-home supportive services.
  • Funding to meet other key 30th District needs including funding for dependency court attorneys, accelerated funding for our schools through the Local Control Funding Formula, and for Community Colleges and State Universities.

Recent Events


Senator Mitchell joins Parent Voices families in a rally to urge more investment in child care services


Senator Mitchell presenting bills in the Capitol


Senator Mitchell, NFL legend Tim Brown, and law enforcement officers recognize 9-1-1 Heroes and Dispatchers


Senator Mitchell emcees LAANE's Women for a New Los Angeles Luncheon


Coffee with Holly at First New Christian Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church


Sen. Holly J. Mitchell speaks at Bullying Awareness Network in Culver City


Senator Mitchell speaks with Josh Gross for Beverly Hills View - Watch here!


Senator Mitchell honoring the District's Small Business Owner of the Year Onna Ehrlich


Upcoming Events

We have some exciting things planned for the next few months. Please visit my website for flyers and more information for each event.

"Coffee with Holly" on Saturday, June 20

Coffee and conversation. Constituents will have the opportunity to bring ideas, questions and concerns about legislative issues affecting the community. Children are welcome.
Time: 8:00am - 10:00am
Location: Amvets Culver City Post II at 10858 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA

"Police Accountability" Forum on Saturday, June 20

Senator Holly J. Mitchell to serve as Keynote Speaker at the Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Social Action Forum on "Police Accountability." For more information, contact Paula Ricketts-Chism at misspaula42@gmail.com.

Senior Scam Stopper and Resource Seminar on Wednesday, July 29

This seminar will provide information about construction-related scams and resources available to seniors, featuring expert speakers from local and state agencies presenting on broader topics, including identity theft and fraud, health care, elder abuse and protective services.
Time: 12:00pm - 3:00pm
Location: Los Angeles Wilfandel Club at 3425 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA

Bike Safety Event on Saturday, August 1

In partnership with Walk 'n Rollers, we are hosting a bike safety fair at KIPP Empower Academy. Join us for bike safety skills training, a skateboarding demo, giveaways, and more!
Time: 10am – 2:00pm
Location: KIPP Empower Academy at 8466 S Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA


What's Going On in the 30th Senate District?

Congratulations to The Wende Museum, for receiving the prestigious Community Stories grant award for "Cold War Culver City" from Cal Humanities in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities. "Cold War Culver City" will highlight the city's Cold War history through compelling individual stories, physical structures and cultural artifacts from within the Culver City community that are significant in the history of the Cold War. Visit the The Wende Museum: open to the public without appointment on Fridays from 10am to 5pm (except on holidays). Visit here for more information.

Summer Learning Opportunity for Students Grades: K-12th

The CDF Freedom Schools program is a research based and multicultural summer enrichment opportunity that helps children and youth fall in love with reading, boost self-esteem, and generate more positive attitudes toward learning. CDF partners with families, caring community leaders, and credible organizations throughout California to create a safe, nurturing learning environment that encourages children and teens to believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves and in their families, schools, communities, country, and world with hope, education and action. This summer, 32 CDF Freedom Schools sites in California will serve over 2,000 children and youth. To enroll your youth or for more information, contact: Saira G. Soto, Program Director (213) 355-8793 or ssoto@childrensdefense.org.


Meet our Interns and Fellows!

We're excited to introduce our new interns and fellows. Feel free to reach out - they're eager to help!

Capitol Office

Andrew Nieto (andrew.nieto@sen.ca.gov)
Casey O'Connor (casey.oconnor@sen.ca.gov)

District Office

Sydney Hibbs (sydney.hibbs@sen.ca.gov)
Laura Lozano (laura.lozano@sen.ca.gov)
Celeste McAlpin-Levitt (celeste.mcalpinlevitt@sen.ca.gov)
Angela Sanna (angela.sanna@sen.ca.gov)

Interested in setting up a meeting with Senator Mitchell? Please submit all requests for District Office meetings to Sonia Lopez (sonia.x.lopez@sen.ca.gov).


Looking for a better way to manage and view information about your
unemployment claims and benefits?

UI OnlineSM is Here!

UI Online is here! Learn more.

All Californians currently collecting Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits will soon have increased access to UI services and their UI claim when the California Employment Development Department (EDD) completes the rollout of UI OnlineSM which started the weekend of June 6. To learn more about UI OnlineSM and UI Online MobileSM, visit here.

UI OnlineSM is a fast, convenient and secure way for UI customers to:

  • Certify for continuing benefits and report work and wages.
  • View detailed payment information.
  • Update contact information and set personal preferences.
  • Reopen an existing claim without speaking to a representative.
  • View all scheduled appointments and reschedule a phone interview to a later date.
  • And more!

Customers with smartphones and tablets can access UI Online MobileSM to certify for continuing benefits and manage their claims on the go.

Key features of the new UI OnlineSM system include the ability to update contact information and reschedule eligibility appointments without having to contact an EDD representative which was required before. The system also allows customers to provide clarifying information when certifying for continuing benefits or reopening a claim. This enables the EDD to collect more information upfront to process these requests faster and to reduce the number of necessary eligibility determination interviews. It also helps customers avoid many of the common mistakes that are made on paper forms that can delay payment.