July 2017 E-Newsletter - Read all about your new state budget – my first!

July 06, 2017

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HJM Budget Meeting

Dear Neighbors,

Last week, our governor signed California’s $181 billion budget – my first as chair of the Senate Budget Committee. It was on time, balanced and, according to initial reviews, an example of a spending plan that improved social justice.

Among the comments and reviews received:

  • “Thank you for your consistent dedication to ALL of California's most vulnerable. Their voice is amplified by your bold leadership. We appreciate you.”
     - Jennifer Greppi, child-care supporter.
  • “You are a true representative of the people and a hero. Your leadership was a very important part of this victory.
     - Disa Lindgren, non-profit association worker.
  • “You are a champion for families and others who need a voice.”
     - Debra Payne, on-call program planner.

Simply put, after years of cuts to our human services, health, education and other programs, it’s gratifying to craft a budget that allows for continued reinvestment into programs and services. California’s largest-ever budget prioritizes the people of this diverse state, the infrastructure that serves us all, and the governance structure needed to support smart and effective institutions.

This budget significantly increases money for our state’s child care providers, preschool slots and children in child care by increasing the state median income so more working parents can qualify for subsidized childcare.


Numbers that dazzle

Some overviews worth mentioning: The budget increases funding to K-12, including $1.4 billion more to support disadvantaged children and $50 million more for afterschool programs.  

In higher education, it provides more money to our public institutions, $50 million more in financial aid to needy families and maintains the Middle Class Scholarship program.  

The budget cultivates the success of children in the foster care system by enabling more people to be foster parents; increases public health nurses to serve trauma impacted populations; and funds pregnancy prevention.  

To help poor, working-class families, the budget expands the earned income tax credit to self-employed individuals and increases the threshold for eligibility to ensure that more people can participate.  

The budget uses additional Proposition 56 tobacco tax money to increase Medi-Cal reimbursement rates to physicians and dentists by $465 million; family planning services rates by up $50 million; and intermediate care facilities for those with developmental disabilities by $27 million.  Separate from Prop 56, full adult dental will be reinstated Jan. 1st, 2018, as will optical benefits for Medi-Cal.

The budget also pays down debt, takes a loan from a low interest fund to pay down CalPERS pension unfunded liabilities, and puts aside money to increase the state’s reserve to about $10 billion. It also restructures the Board of Equalization.  

By investing in our children and in our communities we are investing in our future.

If you want more details on the 2017-18 budget, check out the links below:

  • For an analysis of the 2017-18 budget bill click HERE:
  • To read Gov. Brown’s outline of the budget click HERE:
  • To listen to me talk about the budget HERE:
  • To view the Senate majority’s highlights, click HERE:



HJM Criminal Justice Reforms

Key Assembly panel OKs five major criminal justice reforms for youth and young adults
The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved five of my criminal and juvenile justice reform bills to improve public safety, keep young people out of the juvenile justice system and end longstanding inequities in California’s juvenile and criminal justice systems. One is pending. This was a giant step toward reducing unnecessary, unfair and unjust policies that hurt children, families and taxpayers. Simply put, we need to put an end to the cradle-to-grave prison pipeline. More HERE:





Construction careers highlighted at free workshop
The Los Angeles Black Worker Center is hosting a Ready to Work: Apprenticeship Readiness Orientation this Saturday, July 8, from 8 a.m. -12 noon at 5350 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90043. This event will feature experts and tradesmen from the construction sector. You will receive key knowledge on how to start a career in construction, information on how to enter an apprenticeship program, and more. To RSVP, please call (323) 752-7287, or email ready2work@labwc.org. For additional information please read through program flyers, HERE.


School children


Free summer meals for children in need
With school out for the summer, many low-income children lose access to school breakfasts, lunches, and afterschool snacks and meals. The federally funded Summer Nutrition Programs helps fill this gap by providing children with nutritious meals and snacks across the country. More HERE:

Showcase our diversity by entering the 2017 NFMLA On Location – the Los Angeles video project
Do you have a budding video-, or filmmaker in the family? If so, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles invites any amateurs to showcase their skills entering its “On Location: The Los Angeles Video Project.” This community outreach multimedia program celebrates the diversity of Los Angeles by answering the question “What is your LA?” Learn more HERE:


HJM with Harry Grammer

New Earth of Culver City honored by Sen. Holly J. Mitchell as 'Nonprofit of the Year'
New Earth, a Culver City-based nonprofit that helps youths, was honored last week as my choice as a Nonprofit of the Year at a celebration of California Nonprofits Day at the State Capitol. I selected New Earth as an exceptional nonprofit organization for how it provides mentor-based arts, educational and vocational programs. These empower children and young adults aged 13-25 to transform their lives. More HERE:



California Committee Passes Bill to Reduce Sentences for Nonviolent Drug Sales

California must embrace sentencing reform

Small and rural nonprofit health care clinics, including Planned Parenthood, could benefit from state assistance under a $20 million deal reached last week in state budget negotiations.
Community Health Clinic Help

Holly J. Mitchell
Senator, 30th District