Hello Neighbor, What a year!
I hope this note finds you in good health. I know the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter in place orders have affected many of you in unprecedented ways. The same is true for the state. The current economic situation negatively influenced state revenue collections, and created challenges for the state to fund vital programs. The adversity we face collectively makes me work harder than ever. I am working with my colleagues to protect vital funding for vulnerable populations and to secure more federal aid to buffer the harm caused by the pandemic.
In January, before COVID-19, the state had a $5.6 billion surplus and record reserves. In the May Revision, the Governor's Administration estimated a budget deficit of $54 billion over three fiscal years starting with 2018-2019. The Administration proposed various solutions such as cancelling new initiatives previously planned. The Legislature agreed to various prudent budget solutions the Administration proposed, such as drawing down reserves, borrowing, deferrals and cancellation of future expansions.
As Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, I take pride in putting away money beyond what was required by law for a rainy day. Well... not only did it rain, it poured! Without the foresight that such a day would come and without the savings buffer in place, California would have had to make deepcuts and be in a much worse economic position.
This month, I worked with my colleagues on the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Governor's Office to allocate $400 million in funding for Project Homekey and legislative COVID-19 priorities, including child care, food banks, and diaper distribution. This funding will create more housing and alleviate the financial burden of families impacted by COVID-19.
Finally, if you need support with EDD or need help finding a voting location or ballot drop box, check out my website: https://sd30.senate.ca.gov/ .
I will continue to fight to create a California where all children thrive. Thank you for your support.
Stay safe and be well,
Senator Holly J. Mitchell
Wow. It’s hard to believe that next month will mark my 10th year of service in the Legislature! As with any anniversary, it spurred a desire to look back at what we accomplished. We did major work! Here’s a list of my most significant legislation. You can see the complete list of my work here:
- AB 2348 (2012) Addressed limited access to adequate reproductive healthcare by authorizing RN's to dispense birth control.
- SB 1010 (2014) The CA Fair Sentencing Act established equitable sentencing guidelines for convictions related to crack and cocaine.
- SB 1053 (2014) Required most health care plans cover approved contraception and related counseling services.
- SB 23 (2016) Eliminated the Maximum Family Grant rule to ensure all children are included in CalWORKs programming. Enacted via the budget.
- SB-443 (2016) Increased protections for CA property owners by requiring a conviction in criminal asset forfeiture cases before the property is taken permanently.
- SB 1322 (2016) Decriminalized minors caught up in prostitution.
- SB 1433 (2016) Provided contraceptive counseling and services to menstruating prison inmates.
- SB-180 (2017) RISE Act eliminated the 3-year, mandatory sentence enhancement for nonviolent, non-serious drug related convictions.
- SB-190 (2017) Eliminated fees for juveniles in the justice system.
- SB 1343 (2017) Ensured that all employees know their rights by expanding workplace sexual harassment training to all employees.
- SB 439 (2018) Established age 12 as the minimum age for youth in the juvenile justice system.
- SB 951 (2018) Implemented the Film Tax Credit 3.O, a tax credit program that incentivizes movie and TV productions to relocate to California. Enacted through the 2018 budget.
- SB 982 (2018) Increased the CalWORKs cash grant to all eligible recipients over the course of three years. Enacted by way of the budget.
- SB 1391 (2018) Prohibited the court from trying youth aged 14 or 15 years old as adults.
- SB 1393 (2018) Provided judicial discretion to strike five-year sentence enhancements for each prior serious felony conviction when convicted of a serious felony.
- SB 188 (2019) CROWN Act Prohibited school and workplace discrimination of hairstyle by establishing that hair texture is an inherent quality of race.
- SB 329 (2019) Housing Opportunities Act ensured all housing voucher recipients have an equal opportunity for affordable housing by making vouchers a protected income source.