Continuing to reform criminal justice and protecting youth to help families and communities are among the proposals by California State Senator Holly J. Mitchell that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law. 

Mitchell’s other efforts endorsed by the governor focus on expanding worker training to prevent sexual harassment and providing women potentially life-saving information about their health. 

Much of Mitchell’s agenda is part of the second year of an #EquityAndJustice package jointly sponsored with Sen. Ricardo Lara. These focused on needed changes to how California’s juvenile and criminal justice systems treat youth and young adults.

The following are the top bills that Brown signed prior to his Sept. 30 deadline to sign, veto or allow bills to become law without his signature. Most of the new measures take effect Jan. 1, 2019. The one exception is SB 1343, a plan to expand sexual harassment training for workers. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2020 to allow time to write and establish online-training procedures. 

• Senate Bill 439 – Minimum Age Incarceration

This juvenile justice-reform measure would exclude children age 11 and younger from juvenile court jurisdiction and would promote the rights, health and well-being of the child by curbing premature exposure to incarceration.

• SB 1034 – Dense Breast Tissue

This would extend to Jan. 1, 2025 the sunset on the current dense breast tissue notification, which is currently set to expire in January.

• SB 1050 – Services and Support for Exonorees

Provides services and support for exonerated people after prison, including healthcare, work training and updating exonerate records to reflect their wrongful convictions.

• SB 1083 – Resource Family Approval

This would reduce barriers in the Resource Family Approval process to make it more child centered and family friendly.

• SB 1343 – Sexual Harassment Training

This would expand mandatory sexual-harassment training to all employers with five or more employees.

• SB 1391 – Juvenile Justice for Children Under 16

This would ensure that youth ages 14 and 15 who commit crimes get the services and help they need by prohibiting them from being tried as adults and keeping them in the juvenile justice system.

• SB 1393 – Five-Year Judicial Discretion

This proposal would return judicial discretion on sentencing related to five-year enhancements for serious felony convictions.

Mitchell also had far-reaching impacts as chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee. SB 951, the California Film and television Production Jobs Act, was incorporated into the 2018-19 state budget. Also included in the budget was SB 982, which provided for the first grant increase for CalWORKS recipients in 30 years.    

Senate Bills 439, 1050, 1391 and 1393 are part of the #EquityAndJustice2018 package carried jointly by Mitchell and Lara as follow-up measures to their initial #EquityAndJustice bills last year.