Press Release

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Publication: CalMatters

In the five years before the pandemic, low-income Californians had begun to see substantial wage gains, chipping away at the income inequality gap between California’s haves and have-nots that has widened over the past 40 years. But the coronavirus pandemic is “likely stripping away many of these gains,” researchers at the Public Policy Institute of California found in a new report.

The current coronavirus-induced recession has hit low-income workers the hardest, while higher income workers, largely able to work from home, have escaped relatively unscathed. And those acute job losses among low-wage workers — particularly African Americans, Latinos, workers without college degrees and women — have stayed worryingly high through the fall, the researchers found. 

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Last week, Assemblymember Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who chairs the budget committee, announced his priorities for the session. They included transitional kindergarten for all 4-year-olds, more financial aid for college students, more money for low-income families through the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, and making parents who don’t work eligible for the state’s Young Child Tax Credit of up to $1,000.

“Our major priority is making sure we do everything to get money into the pockets of the most vulnerable Californians,” Ting said. “So many Californians are struggling. They’re on the brink of homelessness.”

Friday, December 11, 2020

Publication: KSRO/Sonoma County NewsTalk Radio

A new state budget blueprint has been released for the 2021-22 fiscal year centered around restoring previous cuts while also providing a lifeline for Californians impacted by the pandemic. Assemblyman Phil Ting, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, says many cuts were the result of the federal government not providing additional funding.He says other priorities include preparing for future economic downturns and providing targeted stimulus to help rebuild the economy. Listen here

Thursday, December 10, 2020

2021-22 Budget Blueprint(Sacramento) - California continues to face challenges due to COVID-19. Thanks to a one-time boost in revenues, the state is in a position to not only reverse some budget cuts made last year, but also maintain critical health and human services programs. Unfortunately, however, deficits are projected in subsequent years. With that in mind, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, unveiled his 2021-22 Budget Blueprint, Preserve | Respond | Protect | Recover, calling for the restoration of funding in key priority areas to assist struggling Californians, while developing ways to stimulate the economy and grow reserves for future downturns.

“This is a time when people need their government the most. Until we have widespread vaccination rates, we will need to keep helping families and small businesses and provide a path to economic recovery,” said Ting. “But we can’t do this alone. Like other states, we need the federal government to step up with some relief.”

Among the highlights of Preserve | Respond | Protect | Recover:

  • Stabilization of critical programs and services: Repay school/community college deferrals; restore cuts to UC, CSU, Courts, Housing, Child Support, Health & Human Services; retain reserves
  • Persistent COVID-19 response: Continued investment in public health infrastructure; safe reopening of schools; protect vulnerable populations in nursing homes and prisons; workplace safety enforcement; greater transparency & oversight of all disaster-related funding
  • Support For Working Families: Ongoing funding to head off homelessness and expand assistance programs; implementation of TK-For-All; increase college financial aid and refund amounts for California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) filers; safeguard communities from wildfires
  • Economic Recovery: Prevent evictions and support mom-and-pop landlords; modernization of the Employment Development Department (EDD); more retraining programs for laid off workers; establish a Climate Crisis investment plan and infrastructure strategy to stimulate green jobs while benefiting low-income communities

The Budget Blueprint is here: 2021-22 Budget Blueprint

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Publication: KPIX-TV/CBS 5

There has been a new development in a series of massive hacks at California’s unemployment department that KPIX 5 first exposed. Now, attention is shifting from the state to Bank of America that distributes most of the money, at last count $105 billion dollars, through debit cards we discovered are vulnerable to hacks. KPIX has received more than a hundred emails from victims. Now lawmakers are taking notice.

From a criminal’s perspective, it’s the perfect scenario: ATMs give out bills and cash is king in the underground economy. KPIX was the first to expose how fraudsters are hacking Employment Development Department (EDD) debit cards and wiping out the benefits of potentially tens of thousands of Californians.

“This is just absolutely unacceptable, that we have a bank that’s not responding. They’re not responding to you. Not responding to me, not responding to the people who they are serving,” said California Assemblyman Phillip Ting.

That was Assemblyman Ting’s first reaction, after watching our reports about rampant hack attacks on debit cards issued by Bank of America, the Employment Development Department’s exclusive debit card provider.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Publication: KQED

A Bay Area lawmaker is seeking to limit the use of natural gas in new public buildings and schools across California in a bill introduced in the Assembly this week.

AB 33, introduced by Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would only affect new state buildings and public schools by, in effect, requiring electric furnaces and appliances. But it would also prevent utilities from offering its customers subsidies for new gas pipe installations anywhere.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Publication: Los Angeles Times

The new two-year session of the California Legislature began Monday as legislators took the oath of office under some of the most unusual circumstances in state history, quickly compiling an urgent to-do list addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing, schools and the economy.

Though the agenda for convening newly elected and returning lawmakers was familiar, the setting was not.

The 80 members of the state Assembly held their organizing session seven blocks from the state Capitol inside Golden 1 Center, home to the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. The event marked the first time either house has convened outside of the state Capitol since the building’s six-year restoration ended in 1981.

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Only a few pieces of legislation were formally introduced Monday; most of the work will begin in early January. Even so, the initial legislation offered a glimpse at an agenda to tackle both short-term and systemic problems laid bare by the worsening COVID-19 pandemic and community shutdowns.

Schools

With millions of California children facing the prospect of most or all of the school year being conducted remotely, lawmakers will look for ways to standardize the procedures for when to open and how to provide the money to do so safely.

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill Monday that would require school districts to reopen campuses when community infection rates drop.

Throughout the fall, school leaders took varying approaches toward resuming limited in-person instruction when their counties moved into the less-restrictive public health tiers established by the Newsom administration. As a result, schools in neighboring communities sometimes made conflicting decisions about whether to open. ...

Monday, December 7, 2020

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

California’s public schools would be forced to reopen when case counts dip and county officials give the go-ahead under proposed state legislation by San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting.

The bill would require schools to resume in-person learning within two weeks of their county moving into red, orange or yellow tiers. Most counties have recently returned to the most stringent purple tier due to the new surge.

The bill, if passed, would go into effect March 1.