Press Releases

Friday, January 10, 2020

Sacramento – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the statement below following Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2020 budget release:

“We have made tremendous progress in moving our state forward and ensuring our economic prosperity touches as many Californians as possible. I’m excited to see that the Governor wants to continue down the same path while also taking caution, especially regarding assumptions about whether some federal funding will come through. The Governor’s fiscal priorities are again similar to those outlined in our Assembly Budget Blueprint, Embracing Progress | Securing the Future, including:

  • Ting Statement On Governor's Budget ReleaseStrong reserves in the Rainy Day Fund and Resiliency Fund ($21 billion total);
  • One-time investments, which ensure the State keeps a structural operating surplus in future years;
  • More critical funding to expand affordable housing and prevent homelessness, while also addressing the current homeless crisis;
  • Investments in early education, including preschool facilities; gearing more resources to low-performing students; and continuing to make improvements in special education;
  • Improved access to comprehensive behavioral health programs for those with the greatest need, including homeless individuals;
  • Expanded health care coverage, making undocumented seniors over the age of 65 eligible for Medi-Cal;
  • Strengthened nutrition programs at food banks, schools and higher education campuses to prevent hunger;
  • Better corrections programs that focus on rehabilitation, particularly by reducing youth recidivism; and moving toward the closure of one prison, implementing previous budget action to consolidate and reduce facilities; and,
  • Comprehensive climate crisis readiness programs, preventing and preparing for natural disasters and other effects of global warming.

 I look forward to working with the Governor to craft another progressive, yet prudent fiscal plan that aims to benefit all Californians. Hearings will begin in a few weeks, giving the public opportunities to help us shape this proposal into a final state budget by the June 15th deadline. Together, we will invest in California’s future while also ensuring that the progress made is protected with healthy financial reserves, in case of an economic downturn.”

For more information about the Assembly Budget Blueprint, Embracing Progress | Securing the Future, please click here.    

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Monday, January 6, 2020

Ting Introduces Bill To Fix California’s  Beverage Container Recycling ProgramCalifornia’s recycling program for bottles and cans is broken. As people find it more and more difficult to get their CRV deposits back, an increased amount of our recyclable waste is ending up in landfills. With California’s recycling rate dropping from 85% to 75%, the state can no longer put off solving this ever-growing crisis.

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today introduced a bill, AB 1840, which intends to reform the state’s Beverage Container Recycling Program. Action on the first day back in the new year signals that Ting is making this critical issue a priority by leading the efforts to resolve the state’s recycling troubles.

“We can no longer kick the proverbial can down the road,” said Ting. “If California is to continue its leadership on the environment, we must deal with this problem that’s been in front of us for years.”

Ting will be working with several partners to further develop the bill’s language and shape reforms the recycling program needs. AB 1840 builds upon the work of AB 54, Ting’s urgency measure that took effect in October, enabling the state to launch five mobile recycling programs in areas severely impacted by the closure of CRV redemption sites. AB 54 provided a temporary fix until the Legislature reconvened this month to work on a path toward saving California’s recycling system.

Legislative action this year is imperative, especially since rePlanet shuttered its remaining 284 California recycling centers last summer. rePlanet was once California’s largest recycling company, operating about 20% of the redemption centers in the state. But a significant decrease in the scrap value of aluminum and recycled plastics hampered their ability to stay open - even after the firm closed 191 centers in 2016 to cut costs. Exacerbating this problem are international market conditions, as countries around the world, most notably China, have imposed stricter standards on the types of waste materials they will purchase.

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Monday, December 30, 2019

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announces grants totaling more than $1.6 million are being awarded to 39 corner stores, small businesses, community-based organizations and government entities throughout the state in the second round of the pilot Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program.
 
This program funds energy-efficient refrigeration units in corner stores and small businesses in low-income neighborhoods or areas with low access to full-service grocery stores. The refrigeration units will stock California-grown produce, nuts and minimally processed foods. The goal is to improve access to healthy food choices for underserved communities while promoting California-grown agriculture. 
 
“We’re proud to support small businesses as they build the capacity to sell nutritious foods grown by California farmers in under-resourced neighborhoods,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. Recipients of Final Refrigeration Grants Championed by Ting Announced
 
The 39 grantees include 28 small stores/businesses, 10 nonprofits and one county. The county and nonprofits will either provide refrigeration units and technical assistance to corner stores in their regions, or several of the nonprofits will sell produce directly in under-served areas. In all, refrigeration units will be provided to approximately 55 corner stores throughout the state. The majority of grantees are located in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Central Valley regions, though grant programs will reach more than 20 California counties. Find the complete list of recipients at the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program website .
 
“Your diet shouldn’t be determined by your address. But that’s what happens to people who live in a food desert where there are no grocery stores within a mile of their home. This second round of grants will ensure more Californians have access to healthy and nutritious foods – no matter where they live,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who helped create the program and secure grant funding as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee.
 
This program is managed by CDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork, which is committed to helping all Californians access fresh, California-grown food. This concludes the final round of the pilot program.

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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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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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Monday, November 18, 2019

CA Receives $7.1 M Federal Grant To Continue Nutrition Incentives at Farmers Markets & Small RetailersThe California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has been awarded a Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grant of $7,166,877 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to fund nutrition incentives at Certified Farmers Markets and small retailers throughout the state.
 
The grant will help fund the California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP), which offers nutrition incentives to CalFresh shoppers utilizing benefits at participating farmers markets and retail outlets. For every CalFresh benefit dollar spent, CNIP offers CalFresh shoppers an additional dollar to spend on California-grown fruits and vegetables, within set parameters. This incentive is intended to empower CalFresh shoppers to increase their consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables.
 
“CNIP addresses food insecurity and access to fresh fruits and vegetables among low-income Californians while simultaneously supporting and expanding markets for California farmers,” CDFA Secretary Karen Ross said. “We’re honored to have been awarded a GusNIP grant for the second time to help continue this good work.”
 
CNIP began in 2017 and is administered by CDFA’s Office of Farm to Fork (CDFA-F2F), which leads CDFA’s food access work. The GusNIP award is matched by state funds to provide funding for incentives, program operations, and marketing and outreach. CDFA will work with seven partner organizations, chosen through a competitive grant process, to implement the program.
 
“The California Nutrition Incentive Program is a crucial program that I continue to champion because increasing access to farmers markets helps residents improve their health,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, who authored legislation to create the program. “This $7.1 million federal grant is great news and ensures that those who can’t always afford fresh, locally grown produce can now do so. Nutritious food is the foundation for good health.”
 
More information about CNIP, its grantees and participating retail outlets can be found at https://cafarmtofork.cdfa.ca.gov/cnip.html 

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Nation’s first publicly funded diaper bank expands to nutrition safety net program, doubling the number of free diapers available to City babies

SAN FRANCISCO – San Francisco is now the first county in the nation to provide free diapers as a supplementary benefit for families who receive CalFresh food assistance, known at the federal level as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The announcement comes from the San Francisco Diaper Bank, a partnership between the Human Services Agency (HSA) and Help a Mother Out (HAMO), that provides a free monthly supply of diapers to residents with children under age three who participate in CalWORKs and, starting in November, CalFresh.

Diaper need, known as the lack of sufficient diapers to keep infants and young children dry, comfortable, and healthy, is a common, distressing, and often hidden issue for low-income parents. Nationally, one in three families struggles with diaper need. 

San Francisco Announces Free Diapers For Families In Need

The average monthly diaper bill for a child under age three can range from $80–100 per month. Yet, for the most part, social safety net programs for families do not recognize diapers as a necessity. The cost of diapers is not an allowable expense under federal programs that provide food assistance to young children like SNAP or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

“We must ensure every child in California is off to a great start. From health problems to being shut out of childcare programs, having little or no access to clean diapers can be hard on families and impact the outcome of a child’s life,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. “As a father, I know firsthand the reach the Diaper Bank will now have as a result of the increase in state funding.”

California is a leader in pursuing policy strategies to reduce diaper need. The Diaper Bank expansion to CalFresh households in San Francisco is made possible by a $2.5 million grant awarded to HAMO in support of diaper access programs in the Bay Area by the California Department of Social Services. The program expansion doubles eligibility to 2,500 San Francisco children whose families currently receive CalWORKs or CalFresh benefits for cash, employment, or food assistance from HSA.