In the News

July 03, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday that he has signed legislation removing the word "lynching" from the state's criminal code following the arrest of a black activist at a Black Lives Matter protest.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/california-lynching-law-governor-jerry-brown/

July 02, 2015

Since 1933, California law characterized the act of taking a person from lawful police custody as "lynching." But, as Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), the measure's author, noted, for most people the term "lynching" has a more violent connotation: when a mob seizes and kills a person, typically by hanging, without a trial.

Source: http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-pc-california-code-lynching-20150702-story.html

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.

Source: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/07/01/3675655/california-family-cap/

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.

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/article25987957.html

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.

Source: http://www.dailynews.com/social-affairs/20150625/california-senators-chosen-to-discuss-funding-for-developmentally-disabled/1

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.

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/editorials/article24522502.html

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.

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.

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.

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.

Source: http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article23600287.html