Senator Holly J. Mitchell
Senator Holly J. Mitchell

Senator Holly J. Mitchell completes her sixth year in California’s Legislature achieving a record of 54 measures signed into law. Ending her third year in the Senate, five significant pieces of legislation authored by Mitchell now join the California Code.

Known for carrying progressive yet pragmatic legislation, Mitchell successfully steered 51 bills through both houses of the Legislature and obtained Brown’s signature on each before encountering her first gubernatorial veto last month – a rare, if not unique, achievement.

“I focus on legislation that removes obstacles to opportunity and care for those who need it most, especially working families,” Senator Mitchell said. “I do my homework and respect the concerns of my constituents. I’m grateful that formula has worked as often as it has.”

The new laws that Senator Mitchell introduced are Senate Bills 443, 1001, 1322, 1380 and 1433 which, respectively: limits civil asset forfeiture when law enforcement seizes property without a related criminal conviction; ensures services for sex trafficked juveniles instead of criminal prosecution; coordinates state funding for the homeless toward permanent housing; ensures access to birth control for jail inmates; and protects workers from document abuse by employers.

The policy change for which the Senator fought longest and of which she is most proud is new funding for low income families with newborns, whom the maximum family grant limit had long blocked from increased CalWORKs assistance. That achievement came through the state budget process in which Senator Mitchell participates as Chair of the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, a post she also held for three years in the Assembly. She has successfully pushed for more funding for education, childcare, anti-trafficking, re-entry and human services.

Since her 2010 election to the Assembly, Mitchell has stuck to her pledge to carry legislation rooted in common sense and substantive enough to make a difference in the lives of the people of California. Mitchell works with those on both sides of the aisle, advocating for policies that create real progress at a time when families and communities continue to struggle.

Her groundbreaking legislation includes expanding women’s access to contraception, offering health teams to chronic users of hospital emergency rooms, banning use of secret grand juries in officer-involved deaths, equalizing criminal penalties for the sale of cocaine and “crack,” compelling banks to help “under-water” home owners and requiring landlords to clean up mold.

“I serve a Senate district that stretches from the Westside to South Los Angeles through downtown – a true microcosm of our state,” said Mitchell. “I’ve authored bills that improve access to crucial services for those most in need, protect our environment, foster fairness and invest in opportunity for all Californians.” Her efforts to reform civil asset forfeiture, grand juries and expanded access to contraception have prompted other states to consider similar legislation.