State Assembly Memorializes SF Student Hit by Drunk Driver

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The California State Assembly passed a resolution authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, to honor the memory of Hanren Chang with a memorial plaque on Sloat Boulevard, in San Francisco, near where she was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing the street on her seventeenth birthday last year.

“Losing Hanren was a wakeup call for our community to change,” said Ting.  “I salute the Chang family for their courageous leadership in keeping us on task to improve pedestrian safety.  Today’s action brings us a significant step closer to commemorating Hanren’s life with a meaningful memorial.”

Renters’ Rebate Bill Passes Key Assembly Committee

A bill to provide for a renters’ rebate for low-income California tenants passed a key committee earlier today. Co-sponsored by Tenants Together, the bill addresses a central demand of the Renters’ Day of Action held in Sacramento earlier this year. The bill is co-authored by Assembly Members Phil Ting (D – San Francisco) and Tom Daly (D – Anaheim). 

New Bill Provides Tax Relief for Low-Income Renters

Proposal restores tax fairness for renters, reinvents program eliminated by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymembers Tom Daly (D-Anaheim) and Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) urged passage of new legislation to restore tax relief for renters in California.  Supported by a rare alliance of tenant and landlord groups, the bill faces its first vote in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee this afternoon.

“California homeowners receive significant state and federal tax benefits, including the mortgage interest deduction and the homeowner’s exemption,” said Daly.  “It’s reasonable to provide renters, who may not be able to purchase a home, with some tax relief, too.  Housing is a fundamental need for all California families.  The modest refunds established by this new program will offer thousands of families with a small measure of security.  In addition, these refunds will also have a positive cumulative effect on the economy.  The families and individuals receiving the assistance will spend that money at local businesses.”

Ting Bill Expands Access to Local Energy and Water Efficiency Programs

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation passed legislation authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, to help expand residential energy and water efficiency programs recovering from fallout from the nation’s home mortgage crisis.

“California has plenty of sun but is coping with drought,” said Ting.  “We should respond to these pressures by expanding access to home energy and water efficiency programs.  This will reduce the need to build new power plants and help communities struggling with water shortages.”

Assembly Passes Bill to Prevent Disease through Reforming Syringe Access

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The California State Assembly passed legislation authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, to preserve a choice given to California pharmacists to sell sterile syringes to adults without a prescription in order to prevent leading causes for the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis.

“Expanding safe syringe access saves lives by preventing the spread of deadly diseases,” said Ting.  “Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists support this bill, which is why it is the law of the land in nearly every state.  Even though drug use has grown in California, we have seen a reduction in disease among injection drug users because this policy works.”

Ting Fighting to Improve Healthcare for Limited English Speaking Patients

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – The Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection passed legislation authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, that will help California provide healthcare to millions of Californians with limited English language skills.

“We need medical professionals who can speak the languages of our communities,” said Ting.  “Patients cannot access healthcare if they cannot communicate with their care providers.  This bill gives us the tools we need to identify and resolve communication problems to ensure greater healthcare access for all Californians.”

Ting Comments on SCA 5 Return to State Senate

(SACRAMENTO, CA) The California State Assembly returned Senate Constitutional Amendment (SCA) 5 to the Senate at the request of its author Senator Ed Hernández (D-West Covina). This action was accompanied with an announcement that the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President pro tempore will create a commission in the next couple of weeks on issues surrounding recruitment, admissions, and retention of students in California’s higher education system. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus and member of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance, issued the following statement about these developments.

"The state must play a more active role to ensure equal access to higher education. After having reformed K-12 education funding last year to focus on low-income and English language learning students, it is time for a thoughtful debate about what can be done to ensure that all hardworking students have access to a state university education. This means taking a hard look at recruitment and retention activities to ensure that our campuses provide opportunities for students from underrepresented communities, as is the common practice in our nation’s elite private colleges. However, getting admitted is only the start of many challenges facing students today. Paying for college and graduating on time must become easier. Continued financial aid reform is needed to help more students afford the cost of earning a degree. We must also bring new investment to higher education so that students can enroll in the classes they need. All of these actions and more will help every qualified student access opportunities in our wonderful state university system."

Lawmakers Press State Board of Education on School Funding Regs

Action Needed to Ensure Low-Income, English Language Learning Students Benefit

(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, and Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) sent a letter to the California State Board of Education signed by nearly 30 lawmakers urging action to ensure that new regulations for education funding match the Legislature's intent in creating the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) last year. The Board's public comment period concluded today as it works to complete the final regulations for the LCFF, which will be implemented starting later this year.

Ting Comments on Today’s Vote for Atkins as Next Assembly Speaker

(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, issued the following statement following today’s vote for Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) to serve as the next Speaker of the State Assembly.

“California’s working families have a voice for their values in Toni Atkins.  Her rise to the speakership from modest origins is an inspiring example of achievement that is only possible in our country.  While other states dither on equality, I’m proud to serve in the Assembly when the new normal is for us to be led by a member of the LGBT community.  I thank Speaker John A. Pérez for his service.  California is clearly better off because of his compassionate and tireless leadership.  I look forward to working with the Speaker-elect as she makes her mark.”

Contact: Anthony Matthews, tel. (916) 319-2019, anthony.matthews@asm.ca.gov

Ting Honors Cecilia Chung as Woman of the Year

(SACRAMENTO, CA)  Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Democratic Caucus, honored Cecilia Chung during the California State Assembly’s Woman of the Year ceremony for her leadership on civil rights, HIV/AIDS and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) equality.

“Cecilia has an inspiring record of breaking down barriers,” said Ting.  “Her bravery and brains have made our community a more compassionate and welcoming place.  As we strive for even greater equality, we can simply look to her for a roadmap forward.  Cecilia’s passion and commitment to equality know no bounds.”