Press Releases

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

DMV to Close Offices Statewide for Half-Day on July 24Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will close its offices statewide for a half day on July 24, 2019, to better prepare employees to process REAL ID transactions and reinforce training on providing excellent customer service.

Operation Excellence: DMV Training will result in more consistent customer experiences statewide and equip employees with the tools they need to handle an unprecedented volume of REAL ID applications, which are more complex and take more time to process.

The training will take place at 183 DMV field offices, Commercial Drive Test Centers and Industry Business Centers throughout the state. More than 5,000 employees will receive the training at their home offices, which will open for business at 1 p.m.

“Our employees are at the heart of every transaction we perform,” said Kathleen Webb, DMV acting director. “With this commitment to training, we can ensure they have the proper tools, knowledge, and experience to provide excellent customer service to the people of California.”

Operation Excellence is an initiative of the DMV Reinvention Strike Team, which Governor Gavin Newsom created in January to lead a comprehensive modernization and reinvention of the DMV with an emphasis on transparency, worker performance, speed of service and overall consumer satisfaction. The Strike Team was created in response to long wait times in DMV field offices, which were exacerbated by the federal government’s REAL ID requirements.

More info here

Thursday, June 13, 2019

STATE BUDGET REFLECTS LONG-HELD VALUES AND PRIORITIES, SAYS TING

(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the following statement about the State Legislature’s passage of the 2019-2020 budget for California.  An Assembly Budget Committee overview of the spending plan is available here.  Ting’s statement is as follows:

“California’s long-held values and priorities are prominently reflected in the new state budget. Strong revenues allow us to make investments that ensure our state’s unparalleled prosperity touches all Californians. That includes strengthening social infrastructure to lift families from homelessness and poverty, opening the door to more educational opportunities from pre-school to college, and closing the gap on universal health care. We accomplish all this while still having healthy reserves to protect these programs through the next economic downturn. This is how we demonstrate leadership in California.”

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ting Proposals to Increase California’s Affordable Housing Supply Approved by State AssemblyThe California State Assembly paved the way for more housing units in the state by approving three proposals by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) before a key legislative deadline. Two bills (AB 68 & AB 69) encourage greater adoption of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), commonly known as “in-law units” or “granny flats,” while the third, AB 1486, gives priority to more affordable housing projects when surplus public land becomes available. 

“In a housing crunch like ours, all reasonable solutions should be on the table. I’m a big supporter of ADUs because they are one of the fastest ways to expand our affordable housing supply, but we need to do more to spur widespread adoption,” said Ting. “Regarding surplus land, I can’t think of a better use for property the government no longer needs than to build affordable housing on it.”

Ting’s ADU bills aim to make it even easier and faster for homeowners to build livable space on their properties by:

  • Speeding up the approval process to 60 days
  • Prohibiting restrictive local requirements pertaining to lot size and parking
  • Allowing more types of units, such as units in multi-family dwellings, to be approved with less bureaucratic review
  • Creating a Small Home Building Standards Code to make construction more cost-effective and safe
Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Assembly Approves Ting’s Groundbreaking Criminal Justice Reform Bill, Key to Re-Entry for MillionsSacramento, CA – The California State Assembly opened the doors to employment, housing and educational opportunities for millions of Californians today by approving AB 1076, a clean slate effort by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). The proposal uses technology to automate arrest and conviction relief for those already entitled to record clearance under existing law. The current system is too burdensome and expensive for most people to navigate, resulting in barriers to re-entering society.

“There’s a great cost to our economy and society when we shut out job-seeking workers looking for a better future,” said Ting. “Everybody deserves a second chance. We must use available technology to help people who have already paid their debt to society get back on their feet.”

Studies show that lack of access to jobs and housing are primary factors that drive individuals to reoffend. The obstacles to successful re-entry also disproportionately impact communities of color and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. By requiring no additional action by petitioners, AB 1076 can make the system more fair and equitable, while also improving public safety through reduced recidivism.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the following statement about the 2019-20 Assembly Budget Plan, which was adopted today by the full committee. Ting’s statement is as follows:

Statements on Final Assembly Budget Plan"The Assembly Budget Plan continues investing in priorities that strive to make life better for all Californians. With this spending proposal, we renew focus on ending Great Recession Era cuts and put the state on a path that lifts up more Californians by increasing educational opportunities, expanding access to healthcare and strengthening social infrastructure – all while building robust reserves to sustain these investments in the event of an economic downturn. In times of unparalleled prosperity, there’s no reason we can’t help our most vulnerable residents. I applaud Governor Newsom or starting this process with a responsible, progressive vision for California, and I look forward to working with him and the Senate to deliver a balanced, on-time budget.”

A statement from Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) is as follows:

Speaker Statement on Final Assembly Budget Plan

“I’m grateful for the hard work that’s gone into putting forth an Assembly budget package that focuses on the things that will keep California moving forward. Under this budget, we take care of needs, continue strengthening the foundation of early childhood education, and bring $1.5 billion in new, needed cost relief to our school districts, all while adding to our savings for the future. It’s a road map that broadly combines the vision of Governor Gavin Newsom and the ideals valued by the Assembly.”

Thursday, May 23, 2019

In an effort to reduce waste and public health risks from paper receipts, the California State Assembly voted today to approve AB 161, a bill by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) that modernizes proofs of purchase. Starting in 2022, Skip the Slip legislation requires businesses to provide paper receipts only upon request. Two years later, they must allow customers to choose between no receipt, an e-receipt or a paper one. Paper receipts will always continue to be an option.

“Most of us don’t need a physical receipt for every transaction. It doesn’t make sense to kill so many trees and unnecessarily expose people to toxins for something we don’t often need,” said Ting.

According to Green America, up to 3 million trees and 9 billion gallons of water in the United States are used every year to create receipts. In recent years, paper receipts have not only included proof of the items purchased, but also coupons, promotions and surveys, making them unnecessarily long and ridiculed on the internet. Comedian Jimmy Kimmel even joked about it on his late night show a few weeks ago, saying paper receipts should not be tall enough to ride Space Mountain at Disneyland. See video clip below.

The public health impacts are especially alarming. The Ecology Center found 93% of receipts contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS), which enable text to appear on the receipt. BPA and BPS are known endocrine disruptors and can cause developmental and neurological problems. These additives also mean paper receipts cannot be recycled.

“This policy will reduce the waste of unwanted paper and allow for customers to choose the receipt option that works best for them. It benefits the environment and reduces toxins exposure for workers and customers. Green America supports these goals and California’s leadership on this issue.” Beth Porter, Program Director, Green America.

During the legislative process, a few exemptions were added to AB 161:

  • Retailers and services grossing less than $2 million per year    
  • Businesses using BPA/BPS-free paper & printing only purchase information
  • Cash-only businesses
  • Health care providers

AB 161 allows for two warnings before a $25 per day, $300 per year fine can be imposed on businesses that don’t comply. Ting’s proposal now heads to the Senate for consideration. All bills must reach the Governor’s desk by September 13.

 

 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Ting Proposal to Require Recycled Content in Plastic CRV Bottles Passes State AssemblySacramento – In a move to help reduce litter and boost demand for used plastic materials, the California State Assembly today approved AB 792, a proposal by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) that phases-in the minimum amount of recycled materials plastic beverage bottles must contain.

“We need to use less plastic. Otherwise, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050,” said Ting. “That’s a terrible cost to our environment if manufacturers are allowed to continue making new plastic every time they need a bottle. They should reuse what they’ve already made.”

On top of dwindling domestic demand for recycled plastic, China and other overseas markets stopped buying much of California’s recycled waste last year. Now a crisis is mounting, as recyclable plastic is stacking up in warehouses or going to landfills. The European Union (EU) has already set a goal of 25% recycled content in their plastic bottles by 2025 and 30% by 2030. AB 792 establishes the following timeframe for minimum recycled content in plastic beverage bottles:

  • January 2021   - 25% minimum content
  • January 2025   - 50% minimum content
  • January 2030   - 75% minimum content

A 100% minimum content requirement by 2035 was stricken during a committee hearing this month.  Still, the proposal represents a big step in the right direction, going further than the EU and reducing the need to continue making new plastic.

“Beverage producers like touting the recyclability of their plastic bottles. AB 792 compels them to put their money where their mouth is and buy the plastic back to make new bottles—closing the loop,” said Mark Murray, Executive Director of Californians Against Waste.

AB 792 now heads to the Senate for consideration. All bills must reach the Governor’s desk by September 13.