News

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

As the Trump administration revoked California’s right to set strict auto emissions rules, a state lawmaker from San Francisco joined the fray Thursday with legislation that could entice car companies to keep producing clean vehicles.

Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting introduced a bill that would require automakers to meet California’s highest-in-the-nation mileage standards if they want their cars to be eligible for state rebates.

California provides roughly $240 million in rebates to people who buy electric and hybrid vehicles each year — $2,500 per car — and the windfall of checks helps shape which autos are purchased from which companies.

“We want to incentivize consumers to be purchasing automobiles from companies that have aligned themselves with the state’s goals,” Ting said in a phone call with reporters on Thursday morning. “You’re either with us, or you’re not helping to save people’s lives and the planet.”

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Publication: KCBS Radio/San Francisco

Now that Janet Napolitano has decided to step down as president of the University of California, UC regents will begin the process of finding her successor. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and others weigh in on the search.

KCBS Radio Reporter Doug Sovern says the system's next leader may not come from the political realm, as Napolitano did. Listen here

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

....

Californians are switching to electric cars in record numbers, putting the state on track to surpass its goal of having 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2025. But the plug-in infrastructure needed to support that switch is patchy.

If nothing changes, the California Energy Commission projects the state could have about 81,600 fewer public and shared charging ports than it needs in five years.

And that could be a low estimate: Electric-car sales could exceed the 2025 goal.

....

Motorists can drive for many miles on major roads such as Interstate 5, Highway 101 and state Highway 99 without seeing a charging station. Assemblyman Phil Ting, a San Francisco Democrat, said he hears about it from electric-car drivers all the time.

“Imagine if you only had three gas stations on I-5,” said Ting, who drives an all-electric Chevy Bolt. “It’s kind of comical. Can you imagine what the lines might look like?”

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Publication: Sacramento Bee

They used to be called granny flats. Now, they’re billed as a secret element to solving California’s housing crisis.

Striving for ways to boost housing, California legislators have sent two controversial bills to the governor that would make it easier for homeowners to turn garages into rental units or build cottage apartments in the backyard.

The effort has become a focal point among California’s infill-housing advocates in urban areas who subscribe to what they call YIMBYism, an acronym for Yes In My Backyard.

....

One bill, AB 68 by San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting, would limit cities’ ability to say no when a homeowner files for permits to build second units that are less than 850 square feet in size and 16 feet in height.

The bill also allows homeowners to add a second in-law unit on the property, turning a single family home lot into a triplex, if there is space to build the units at least 4 feet away from property lines.

The Ting bill also requires cities to mandate ADU rentals be for more than 30 days each, a caveat that essentially means they cannot be used for weekend or short-term rentals like those offered via online booking companies such as Airbnb.

Ting says ADUs may be the fastest way the state can get a slice of affordable housing built. If a city is on board, a property owner can get formal approvals and have the project built and rented in little more than one year.

He believes ADUs will be less controversial in existing neighborhoods than say a new apartment complex, because they will typically be built by residents who know their neighbors, and who often will be renting to a family member or someone they know.

“There is always going to be opposition depending on the neighborhood,” Ting said. “This is different. This is the owner who knows the neighbors.”

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

Drivers looking to buy electric cars or other zero-emission vehicles in California will get less financial help from the state than many had hoped.

Lawmakers have killed San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting’s bill that could have tripled the state’s rebate for drivers who buy electric or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. His proposal sought to increase a typical consumer’s rebate to as much as $7,500 and provide a stable pot of funding for the payments.

The Senate Appropriations Committee rejected Ting’s bill, AB1046, without any public discussion in late August.

Ting, a Democrat, said there’s no chance the measure can be revived before lawmakers adjourn for the year on Friday. He said California’s existing rebate program for zero-emission cars isn’t working.

Monday, September 9, 2019

PUBLICATION: San Francisco Chronicle

SACRAMENTO — Californians could petition a judge to confiscate their coworkers’ or employees’ guns if Gov. Gavin Newsom signs a proposal twice rejected by his predecessor.

The Assembly gave final approval Monday to AB61, which would expand the state’s gun violence restraining order law, and sent it to the governor’s desk.

The existing restraining-order law allows police, immediate family members and roommates to ask a court to remove firearms and ammunition from people they believe pose a danger to themselves or others.

.....

AB61, by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, would add employers, coworkers and school employees to the list of people who can petition a court for a gun violence restraining order.

“With school and workplace shootings on the rise, it’s common sense to give the people we see every day a way to prevent tragedies,” Ting said in a statement.

Friday, September 6, 2019

PUBLICATION: Sacramento Bee

WASHINGTON

Democrats running for president had a message for Americans on Wednesday night: you are going to have to wean yourselves off your gas-powered cars.

“It’s not something you have to do. It’s awesome,” entrepreneur Andrew Yang joked.

That didn’t satisfy CNN host Wolf Blitzer, who pressed Yang during Wednesday’s live presidential town hall on climate change. “What’s the answer? Are we all going to have to drive electric cars?” Blitzer asked.

....

California lawmakers have aired proposals in the past to ban gas-powered cars. Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, proposed one in 2017. His bill didn’t pass.

“Our climate crisis has worsened since I first introduced my bill less than two years ago to ban the sale of new, gas-powered vehicles in California by 2040. To make a lasting impact on the planet, we really need to get the whole country to start driving clean cars. It’s a relief to see this pressing issue discussed by the Democratic Party’s Presidential candidates,” Ting said.