Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Publication: Race and the Coronavirus Podcast and Newsletter

Assemblymember Phil Ting is the first guest on the podcast and newsletter called Race and the Coronavirus.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

To keep in touch with constituents, Assemblymember Phil Ting has been holding live Virtual Town Halls. To watch them, please click on the appropriate dates:

Tuesday, May 12: Discussion on Mental Health During COVID-19

Thursday, May 7: Constituents Send in Questions about COVID-19

Thursday, April 30: Discussion about small business resources to help them through COVID-19.

Tuesday, April 28: Constituents Send in Questions about COVID-19

Thursday, April 24: Discussion with SF Unified Board Board Members & Teacher about public education during the Shelter-In-Place Order

Tuesday, April 21: Discussion with economists on our economic recovery after the COVID-19 emergency is over

Tuesday, April 14: Discussion about racism against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 crisis

Thursday, April 9: Discussion with UCSF epidemiologist on COVID-19

Tuesday, April 7: Constituents Send in Questions about COVID-19

Friday, April 3: Constituents Send in Questions about COVID-19

Tuesday, March 31: Constituents Send in Questions about COVID-19

Monday, March 23: Constituents Send in Questions about COVID-19 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

SACRAMENTO — California is facing a deficit of more than $54 billion in its upcoming state budget as tax revenue plummets and the demand for social services soars amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The updated projection, released Thursday by the state Department of Finance, is the latest sign of how badly California’s economy has been battered since the pandemic took hold less than three months ago. Gov. Gavin Newsom said a multibillion-dollar budget reserve would be of some help, but he also pleaded for Washington to come to the state’s rescue with bailout money.


Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who chairs the Budget Committee, said that while the state will probably try to raise revenue through a vaping tax, deep cuts are inevitable. He said the state should do everything it can to avoid slashing programs that help low-income families, such as food assistance and education.

“It’s devastating because at a time when people need government the most, which is any recession, is also the time when we have limited ability to help,” Ting said.


Monday, May 4, 2020

Publication: CalMatters

Every first of the month, California’s past due rent bill gets bigger. 

As the state enters May sheltering in place for the seventh straight week to stop the spread of COVID-19, nearly 1 in 5 California workers have filed for unemployment, with millions more wondering if their next paycheck will actually materialize. 

A disproportionate share of the abruptly laid-off and underemployed are lower-wage renters, who were already struggling to afford the state’s sky-high housing costs before the pandemic shuttered the restaurants, retail stores and rideshare operations that employed them. 


Assemblyman Phil Ting, Democrat from San Francisco and chair of the Assembly budget committee, says that some type of general public assistance bond floated on the November ballot could potentially be used to fund additional rental help while buttressing state coffers. But he cautioned the lion’s share of the money would have to come from Washington D.C. 

“It will have to primarily come from the federal government,” said Ting. “They have the ability to borrow money, and we don’t.” 

Billions of dollars from the federal CARES Act headed to California could conceivably be redirected for rental assistance, although experts say more rounds of federal funding will be necessary to meet the need in any meaningful way. Given Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s comments on allowing states to pursue bankruptcy in lieu of additional federal support, Ting says he’s unconvinced that funding will be forthcoming. 

“I’m not confident the federal government can do anything at this point,” said Ting

Ting has his own proposal for rental help that doesn’t require a major infusion of state dollars: AB 828 would allow renters facing the prospect of eviction for non-payment of rent to petition the court for a 25% reduction in rent payments for the next year, with the renter making up missed rent in monthly 10% installments. The rent reduction would only proceed if the court determined renters were unable to afford rent because of COVID-19, and small landlords would have an opportunity to demonstrate their own financial hardship resulting from reduced rents.


Friday, May 1, 2020

Publication: Climate One Podcast

The COVID-19 recession has happened faster and hit deeper than most people could have imagined. Perhaps not surprisingly, the people most at risk in a shuttered economy are often the same people who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Assemblymember Phil Ting is among the guests for this episode.


California state assemblyman member Phil Ting introduced a bill that would allow only zero emission passenger vehicles to be registered in the state starting in 2040.  That bill didn’t go very far and Ting pulled it when opposition arose from some surprising places.

Phil Ting:  The basic idea is if you want clean air you need clean cars.  And we’ve seen what would happen if we actually move to clean cars today.  Without having millions of cars on the road every day we see for the first time in a long time L.A. has got three weeks running of clean air.  The Bay Area air quality is significantly better.  We know what the solution is we just haven't had the will or frankly some of the technology that's needed.  I believe we need to set a deadline for any assignment.  If you have an assignment without a deadline it never gets done.  And so without having a deadline for when we need to transition to new clean cars completely.  It's very difficult to signal to the industry how far along they should be how many cars should be selling.  I voted for having that deadline by 2040 I’d hope that it would get further than it did.  I thought that with so many other countries already moving this direction that us following other countries seem to be common sense.  England, France, India, Norway have already moved to that deadline or even more aggressively.  I was surprised about a few environmental groups as well as electric vehicle groups did not embrace this notion of setting a deadline.  Trump had gotten elected most environmental groups were very afraid of the rollbacks that have now occurred.  They are worried about how California moving in a certain direction was gonna hinder some of their work to hold the Obama gains together which have now been lost.  Since then we’ve taken certain immediate steps.  I had a bill last year AB 40 that also got held up.  But we were able to put the point of the bill into the budget, which was to actually study how we get to clean cars by 2040.  How many charging stations do we need how many different types of cars do we need.  If someone wants to buy truck and there’s no clean option, they’ll still gonna go buy a truck.  As you and I know the most profitable cars continue to be the biggest gas guzzlers whether it’s trucks, minivans SUVs are the ones with the worst gas mileage but with the highest profit margin.  So really so many auto companies have been reticent to really move to clean cars.

Greg Dalton:  That was California State Assemblymember Phil Ting

Monday, April 27, 2020

Publication: Courthouse News

Business owners, worker advocates and budget experts told California lawmakers at a state budget hearing Monday that officials should increase support for small businesses — including by potentially relaxing some regulations — and struggling workers in plans for economic recovery after the coronavirus emergency.

The hearing took place as San Francisco Bay Area counties extended stay-at-home orders through the month of May and California Governor Gavin Newsom announced 45 new deaths from Covid-19 and 1,300 new positive cases.

Assemblymember Phil Ting, chair of the California Assembly Budget Committee, framed Monday’s hearing as a chance for experts to weigh in on lawmakers’ arduous task of crafting a budget that benefits as many residents and businesses as possible.

“There’s no sector of the state that’s left really untouched by this pandemic,” Ting said. “The biggest challenge is that we cannot deficit-spend. We have to pass a balanced budget on June 15. That will limit the help people are asking for.”


Friday, April 24, 2020

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

As hospitals and county health departments scramble to secure masks and other personal protective equipment during the coronavirus pandemic, California has used its statewide purchasing power to act as a crucial backstop.

So far, the state has distributed more than 46.5 million masks — both N95 respirators and surgical masks — across the state, according to data from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The data, which are current as of April 17, provide a breakdown of how state agencies have spread coveted protective supplies on a county level. Generally, counties with a high number of confirmed cases have received the most shipments.

Combined, the nine Bay Area counties, sites of several early hot spots of the outbreak, have received more than 14.5 million masks.


Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat who chairs the Budget Committee, has been among the lawmakers pushing for more details on how the state shares masks and other equipment.

“Information hasn’t always been readily flowing between the administration, the Legislature,” Ting said as he started the April 20 hearing.