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Sara L. McCarthy

Expert Profile

Sara L. McCarthy

Policy Consultant, Senate Office of Research
California State Senate
public policy initiatives in health and human services
CalWORKs, SSI/SSP, and food stamps programs
legislative analysis of laws related to health, including cancer and childhood lead poisoning
federal welfare reform
mental health reform
social services, child support and housing issues


Sara L. McCarthy is a health and human services consultant for the California State Senate's Office of Research, a bipartisan government office that develops and evaluates public-policy initiatives for the California State Senate. She has spent more than 25 years working for the California state government, acquiring extensive knowledge of the state's health and human services programs. For nine years, she served as staff director to the California Senate's health and human services committee, where she specialized in analyzing legislation and public policy proposals relating to human services, including CalWORKs, SSI/SSP, and food stamps. She also analyzed legislation and public policies relating to mental health and health issues such as cancer and childhood lead poisoning. In 1997, McCarthy served as the health and human services committee's lead policy consultant to the Joint Special Conference Committee on Welfare Reform, which drafted California's $7 billion plan to implement federal welfare reform. In 1998 and 1999, McCarthy served as the committee's staff representative to the state Health and Welfare Agency's steering committee on welfare reform implementation. In 2000, McCarthy served as the committee's staff representative to the Joint Committee on Mental Health Reform. At the Senate Office of Research, McCarthy has researched social services, child support and housing issues. Currently, McCarthy focuses on human services issues (Cal-Works, SSI/SSP, IHSS, etc.) as well as cancer and lead poisoning health issues. McCarthy received her bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and her master's degree in sociology from UC Davis.

1020 N St., Room 200
Sacramento  California  95814
United States
Office Phone: 
(916) 651-1500
Office Fax: 
(916) 324-3944


The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors to serve as thought leaders in one of the most innovative and rewarding arenas in journalism today – “engaged reporting” that puts the community at the center of the reporting process. Learn more about the positions and apply to join our team.


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