Press Releases

Monday, February 22, 2021

California Legislature Approves .4 Million in State Funding To Help Address Surge of Hate and Xenophobia Directed toward Asian Americans In response to the recent wave of hate incidents targeting Asian Americans, California lawmakers today approved $1.4 million in state funding to bolster the research and reporting work underway that is tracking this concerning trend. The Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (APILC) lauds the efforts of Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, who secured the appropriation as part of AB 85, a fiscal measure providing additional resources for California’s ongoing pandemic response.

“The history of the Asian American Pacific Islander community in the United States has been punctuated by times of racism and hate including the Chinese Exclusion Act, the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americas in World War II, the murder of Vincent Chin, hate crimes against Sikhs after 9/11, and most recently, attacks and murder of API seniors incited by racist rhetoric about the COVID pandemic,’ said Dr. Richard Pan, Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus. “I am grateful that California will be funding data collection and research at UCLA to address racism and hate against the API community thanks to the leadership of Assembly Budget Committee Chair Phil Ting.”

Asian Americans have been wrongly blamed for the coronavirus and have increasingly been subjected to racist behavior. As cases escalated, the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate reporting website nearly a year ago. They have been tracking incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination and child bullying against Asians and Pacific Islanders in California and the United States. In the last month, the Bay Area has particularly seen more and more attacks directed toward seniors – one 84-year-old man died as a result of his injuries.

“The rise in hate incidents against Asian Americans during the pandemic is alarming. But, we can’t solve a problem without knowing how big it is. New state funding allows the data gathering to continue, and the research will ultimately lead us to solutions that will make all communities safer,” said Ting.

Through 2020, more than 2,800 incidents have been logged. Of that, more than 1,200 occurred in California. It is widely believed the numbers are under-reported, as many victims distrust the government and are reluctant to come forward.

Nonetheless, tracking is still important and the new state funding ensures that continues. Data is critical for law enforcement and our community as they try to put a stop to the violence. The information gathered will help us move past this dark chapter in American history, spurring accountability and action to bring about justice and peace.

AB 85 awaits the Governor’s signature.

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Monday, February 22, 2021

Ting Introduces Second Chances Bill Helping Millions of CaliforniansMillions of Californians face barriers to employment, housing and education because of old arrests and convictions, increasing the likelihood of recidivism. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) has introduced AB 1308, legislation that would automatically clear criminal records for people already entitled to such treatment under current law. Many don’t go through the existing process because it’s burdensome and expensive.

“California believes in rehabilitation and invests heavily in programs that give incarcerated people a second chance. Yet after they’ve paid their debt to society and are released, they’re trapped in a ‘paper prison.’ They cannot find work, a place to live or go to school,” said Ting. “We can easily help them get back on their feet and lead productive lives by making it easier for them to automatically clear their records.”

AB 1308 builds upon a recent law that Ting championed in 2019, providing automated records relief for certain convictions occurring January 1, 2021 or later once individuals have served their sentences and completed probation; it also applies to arrests that did not result in a conviction. The new proposal, sponsored by Californians for Safety and Justice and Prosecutors Alliance, would make the policy retroactive to arrests and convictions starting from 1973, opening doors to a fresh start for millions more people.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Sacramento – California has long known Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) can boost the state’s affordable housing supply, forging legislation in recent years to make them easier and less expensive to build. Commonly known as casitas, backyard cottages, granny flats and in-law units, ADUs enable homeowners to generate rental income or keep family, like aging parents, close by – both desirable benefits, especially during a pandemic.

However, ADU construction loans are often difficult to secure. Under AB 561 introduced today by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), the state would create a financing program for homeowners who don’t typically qualify for traditional loans so they, too, can experience the advantages of property additions and be part of the solution to California’s housing crisis.

“The number of ADUs has skyrocketed, as a result of our new laws that have encouraged their growth. But the flurry of activity is mostly happening in wealthier areas,” said Ting. “In the name of equity and fairness, we must extend this opportunity for rental income and increased housing supply across all neighborhoods.”

ADU ExamplesWith changes like lower fees, faster approvals and bans on parking and minimum lot size requirements, ADU permits in California jumped 11-fold from 2017-2019. However, an August 2020 study by UC Berkeley’s Terner Center found much of that production occurred in places where home values or rents are high. AB 561 would help extend the reach of ADUs beyond those areas, paving the way to greater adoption in more parts of the state.

Ting’s proposal is estimated to create an additional 50,000 homes over five years. The advantage of ADUs is the speed with which they can be built, and why more states and cities are embracing them as a meaningful housing solution. Units can be up and running in a few months; in contrast, a new complex or subdivision takes years.

AB 561 is expected to be heard in committee this spring.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) released the following statement regarding the first report issued by the Committee on Revision of the Penal Code, established by the Budget Act of 2019:

I have long advocated for a more fair and just criminal justice system, successfully enacting legislation that created an avenue for resentencing, a diversion program for first-time misdemeanor offenders and a new standard for the elderly parole program. Clearly, we have more work to do, and this new report gives us a road map that keeps California moving toward equity. Changes to our laws and the way we hand out punishment can be made without sacrificing public safety, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in pursuit of the committee’s recommendations.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Ting Statement On Lowell High School Vote

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), a parent of two children attending San Francisco public schools, released the following statement prior to today’s board vote on the future of Lowell High School’s merit-based admissions policy:

Every San Francisco Unified School District student deserves the same academic rigor and foundation that has helped numerous Lowell graduates succeed. But every Lowell student also deserves a safe, inclusive place to learn, which is why I condemn recent and past instances of racism that have occurred at the school and hope students’ demands for change are taken seriously. We can achieve both standards by focusing on equity, ensuring students of all backgrounds have access to and can experience similar educational opportunities. Rather than eliminating Lowell’s merit-based admissions policy, let’s continue to reshape its culture and replicate its academic success across all of SFUSD’s high schools, so every student has the necessary tools to follow their dreams.

Friday, January 8, 2021

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the statement below following Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 budget release:

“I’m optimistic we will reach the light at the end of the tunnel later this year, as vaccination rates increase. Until then, we must continue to stabilize Californians and small businesses struggling during these unpredictable times.  We can accomplish that by maintaining the programs and services they need, while also forging a path to economic recovery. I’m glad to see several of the Governor’s priorities are similar to those included in the Assembly Budget Blueprint, Preserve | Respond | Protect | Recover, such as:

  • Stabilization of critical programs and services: Retain reserves and restoration of past cuts
  • Persistent COVID-19 response: Continued investment in public health infrastructure, including vaccine distribution, and safe reopening of schools
  • Support For Working Families: More funding to head off homelessness and expand assistance programs, and increased refund amounts for all California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) filers
  • Economic Recovery: Prevent evictions and support mom-and-pop landlords, and invest in retraining programs for laid off workers and infrastructure strategies to prevent wildfires and stimulate green jobs while benefiting low-income communities

I’m ready to get to work, crafting a responsible plan that successfully navigates the state through the pandemic and helps us emerge stronger. We must also prepare of any more uncertainty and shore up reserves. Hearings will begin next week to give the public opportunities to weigh in, as we consider early action and shape the Governor’s plan into a final state budget before the June 15th deadline. Together, we will make sure people can rely on their government to get them through a crisis and lead the way to brighter days. ”

More information about the Preserve | Respond | Protect | Recover Budget Blueprint can be found here.

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Monday, December 28, 2020

Bills Championed by Ting  Become State Law on January 1Even in a year when COVID-19 added constraints to the legislative process, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) still had a successful 2020 with a number of bills taking effect on January 1, 2021, including:

           Economic Stimulus

                       AB 841 – Creates good paying green jobs to help CA’s economic recovery by:

  • Temporarily redirecting unspent energy efficiency funds to help schools upgrade their HVAC systems to improve air flow, helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in classrooms; new grant program can also be used to upgrade old pipes that potentially leech lead into drinking water; priority given to applications from campuses in low-income communities
  • Requiring the California Public Utilities Commission to act on its years-long application backlog of electric vehicle charging stations; faster approvals will get more people back to work

Criminal Justice Reform

AB 3234 – Allows judges to place first-time misdemeanor offenders into a diversion program; also modifies the Elderly Parole Program, so those aged 50 or above who have served a minimum of 20 years and don’t pose a public safety risk are eligible for a hearing to determine possible release

            Housing Supply

AB 3182 – Prevents homeowners associations from completely banning rental units (including Accessory Dwelling Units); permits limiting rentals to 25% of a community’s total units, so they still qualify for federal loans and insurance          

Environment

SB 212 with Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and Assemblymember Adam Gray (2018) – Establishes a statewide take-back program for unwanted medication and needles with the help of the pharmaceutical industry. CalRecycle will be issuing regulations soon.

As with all urgency bills, Ting’s bill to help local jurisdictions address homelessness, AB 2553, took immediate effect upon the Governor’s signature in September. It grants city and county leaders the authority to temporarily suspend regulations in order to expedite the construction of emergency shelters and safe overnight parking areas.

In addition, ACR 165, designating a portion of State Route 35 in Daly City as the “Alice Peña Bulos Memorial Highway” did not require the Governor’s signature. The resolution’s passage in both houses this summer paved the way for supporters to raise private money for road signs honoring the local Filipina activist.

Finally, AB 793, the landmark law requiring manufacturers to include recycled materials in plastic CRV bottles, begins next year. Beverage containers must have at least 15% minimum recycled content in 2022, eventually reaching 50% by 2030 - the highest standard in the world.

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