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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Several Ting Bills to Become State Law on January 1(Sacramento) – After another successful legislative year, several bills authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) will take effect on January 1, 2020. They include:

  • Housing

AB 68:  Makes it faster and easier for homeowners to add an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or in-law unit, on their property to increase housing supply

AB 1486: Gives affordable housing projects priority to build on surplus government land

  • Civil Liberties Protections

AB 1215: Protects civil liberties by putting a three-year moratorium on using error-prone facial recognition software in police body cameras

  • More Equity in College Admissions

AB 697: Promotes fair admissions practices by requiring colleges to disclose whether they provide preferential treatment to students related to donors or alumni

  • Clean Energy

AB 1208: Extends the ban on taxing solar power for another seven years

As with all urgency bills, Ting’s emergency recycling bill, AB 54, took immediate effect upon signature of the Governor in October. It allocates $5 million to start five mobile recycling programs in areas throughout the state impacted by the recent closure of CRV takeback sites.

In addition, two other proposals by Ting approved this year have later start dates:

September 2020: AB 61, which expands the state’s red flag gun law to allow school personnel, co-workers and employers to access a court process to obtain a Gun Violence Restraining Order, temporarily removing someone’s firearms if they pose a danger to themselves or others

January 1, 2021: AB 1076, which creates a process to automatically clear the records of certain offenders already eligible for relief so they can find jobs and housing

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Publication: SF Curbed

Game-changing facility will open by year’s end

Some of San Francisco’s neediest residents will soon live a few yards away from the city’s most expensive housing, despite the earnest efforts of angry condo owners in South Beach.

Mayor London Breed and other city honchos announced Tuesday that the divisive homeless navigation center at Seawall Lot 330—just a skip and a jump from the Bay Bridge along the Embarcadero—had finished construction and is set to open by the end of the year.

The new facility, built on a city-owned parking lot, consists of a cluster of two long tent-like structures that will eventually house up to 200 people at a time. It also comes with one administrative building, private bathrooms and showers, and outdoor tables and benches. The pristine white interiors of the dorms, tightly insulated from the cold and impending drizzle outside, somewhat resemble how we might imagine a moon base in a far-flung Utopian future. And the center’s exterior gate is made up corrugated steel, wood trim, and assorted greenery used for landscaping.

Expensive East Cut and South Beach condo buildings, like One Rincon Hill and the Jasper, are visible from the courtyard. Some of the homeowners inside those high-rises spent most of 2019 trying to scuttle the project with protest and a series of lawsuits. But in the end, Breed’s plan outreached the long arm of NIMBYism.

During a press tour of the facilities, the mayor and other lawmakers used the occasion to promote—over and over again—the theme of more housing. “We all know the statistics—more than ever we need housing,” said Breed.

“This is not normal, this is not how it plays out in the rest of the country,” State Senator Scott Wiener said, commenting on both the homeless crisis and local opposition to housing development.

“It’s not rocket science,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting. “Everybody says they are for more housing—in someone else’s neighborhood or city.”

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Friday, December 13, 2019

Publication: CalMatters

... The biggest contributors to pockets of unhealthy air across the state are the planes, trains, trucks and ships that move goods around, according to the California Air Resources Board. Heavy-duty trucks spew out 25 percent of diesel particulate pollution statewide, and produce about 8 percent of the state’s total greenhouse gases. 

To tackle that tailpipe pollution, California’s clean air enforcers have proposed a rule that calls for major truck manufacturers to sell zero-emission vehicles in the state. Called the Advanced Clean Trucks regulation, it also asks major corporations and government agencies to report information about how they use their trucks — laying the groundwork for future rules to drive business toward clean truck companies.

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As written, a Union of Concerned Scientists analysis estimates the rule could put 75,000 clean trucks on the road by 2030 — or about 4 percent of the state’s trucks. 

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A handful of California legislators have joined the call for a tougher rule. At the end of November, Democratic assemblymembers Eloise Gómez Reyes, Phil Ting, Luz Rivas, and Marc Berman joined Democratic senators Ben Allen and Bob Wieckowski in a letter to air board chair Mary Nichols that said the proposed rule “falls woefully short of an impactful goal.” 

In their letter, the lawmakers said: “Improving local air quality and reducing California’s contribution to global warming will require more than 4 percent of trucks to be zero-emission by 2030.” 

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Legislators are paying attention, too. “The hope had been that the air board would provide the leadership necessary,” said San Francisco Democratic Assemblymember Phil Ting. “But obviously if they aren’t able to then we’ll definitely consider legislative action.” 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019
Monday, December 9, 2019

Ting Releases His 2020 Budget Blueprint

Sacramento – Due to a remarkably robust economy and responsible budget practices, California’s finances are on solid ground today. While the outlook for next year remains positive, looming threats caution against dramatically increasing ongoing spending. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, unveiled his 2020-21 Budget Blueprint: Embracing Progress | Securing the Future, which invests in more economic opportunities for all Californians while building up the reserve and paying down debt.

“We’ve made great progress in moving our state forward and ensuring our economic prosperity touches as many Californians as possible. We will build on these accomplishments by incrementally adding more state funding for education, poverty reduction, healthcare, housing and other priorities,” said Ting. “But we must also protect our investments. Further boosting our reserves and reducing our debt will prepare us for a possible recession and any changes in funding from the federal government, which isn’t as dependable as it once was.”

Highlights of Embracing Progress | Securing the Future include:

  • Ensuring the State is Ready for Future Uncertainty: build reserves and protect promises made

  • Continuing To Move California Forward: bolster early childhood care, education and college accessibility; improve behavioral health and social services programs; make California more affordable; address climate change; reform criminal justice system

  • Remove Remaining Great Recession Cuts: address legacy cuts and rate freezes

  • Aggressive Oversight for Effective Government: DMV wait times, needs of low-performing students, safe affordable drinking water

More information on the Budget Blueprint: 2020 Budget Blueprint

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

California’s rebate program to coax more drivers to buy electric vehicles just got less generous, especially for those looking to spend on a luxury model.

Effective Tuesday, state regulators have stopped offering rebates for buyers of electric cars or plug-in hybrid vehicles that cost more than $60,000 — a move that will make buyers of high-end Tesla models dig deeper into their pockets.

The state Air Resources Board, the agency that regulates the program, has also reduced the standard rebate by $500 per vehicle, from $2,500 to $2,000 for all-electric cars, and eliminated rebates for plug-in hybrid cars with an electric-battery range of less than 35 miles.

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Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, a vocal advocate for electric cars in the Legislature, criticized the changes. He said the new rules create confusion for buyers.

“The rebate program could be killed by death by 1,000 bureaucratic memos,” Ting told The Chronicle.

Ting sponsored a bill this year that could have tripled rebates, but it died in committee. He said the state should ramp up incentives and decrease them over time with a specific end date, so people have incentive to buy now.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Publication: Sacramento Bee

Newly released data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles show the state making a huge dent in the wait times customers are experiencing across the state.

In a report sent to state lawmakers last month, the DMV showed it has cut delays nearly in half. As of September, customers across the state without an appointment waited an average of 38 minutes, which represents a 48 percent decrease from the average time of 73 minutes customers experienced at the same time last year.

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As of November, 6.7 million customers had gotten a Real ID since the DMV started issuing the cards in January 2018, according to Anita Gore, a spokeswoman for the DMV.

This pales in comparison, however, to the 21.5 million still eligible for a Real ID card and the 10 million the DMV expects to see come in for it between now and the Oct. 1, 2020 deadline.

“We’ll have millions of Californians coming in, in a year that they normally would not be coming,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco. “I worry when we get to July, August, and September (of 2020), we’ll have more unbearable wait times.”

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Friday, November 29, 2019

Publication: Sacramento Bee

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles is asking lawmakers for a budget boost of $2.2 million to help it register voters ahead of the state’s March 3, 2020 primary.

It’s a fairly small sum, but it follows a $242 million increase in the DMV’s budget that Gov. Gavin Newsom granted the department in June.

Lawmakers and Newsom allocated more money for the department because it is handling a crunch of customers seeking so-called Real ID cards that Californians will need by October 2020 to board airplanes without a passport. The DMV’s total budget this year is $1.36 billion.

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Democrats, such as Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, say the money is needed, given the importance of registering eligible Californians.

“It makes more sense to be fighting for our democracy,” Ting said. “This is a small investment to make sure more people can vote.”

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Media Outlet: Sea Change Radio

Can you imagine how hard it must be for legislators to know where to focus their energies? The problems that require reform and improved public policy are vast and varied. But as this week’s guest explains, there’s really nothing more important than ensuring clean air and water. Today on Sea Change Radio, we speak with California Assemblymember Phil Ting about his efforts to promote recycling and cleaner cars. We look at the impediments to systemic change, breakdown his proposals, and talk about the amount of political capital required to advance the most fundamental components of life on earth: clean air and water.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Examiner via Bay City News

Gun shows will continue to be banned from taking place at the Cow Palace in Daly City, the Cow Palace Board of Directors voted Tuesday.

The board first voted to ban the shows from happening at the fairground back in April in response to a growing movement to stop them.

Both state Sen. Scott Wiener and Assemblyman Phil Ting, both D-San Francisco, have been proponents of ending the gun shows. Earlier this year, they authored Senate Bill 281 to permanently end them. The legislation, however, has not yet passed.