Press Releases

Friday, September 20, 2019

Ting Statement Regarding the Climate Executive Order Signed by Governor NewsomAssemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), author of AB 40 and other legislation intended to address the climate crisis, released the following statement about the Governor’s Climate Executive Order. Ting’s statement is as follows:

“I applaud the Governor for taking aggressive action to address the climate crisis. We know the transportation sector accounts for nearly 40% of greenhouse gas emissions in California; so to focus a number of directives on cleaner cars and other green transportation technologies will help us reach a tipping point. I see my bill, AB 40, as complementary to these efforts to address our impact on global warming.”

AB 40 (Ting) encourages automakers to sign onto the deal struck by Governor Newsom and four automakers in July to increase the fuel efficiency of their gas-powered fleet, regardless of actions taken by the federal government.  Under AB 40, only those automakers committed to California’s public health and climate goals could benefit from the state’s clean car rebate program.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Ting Proposes Changes to California’s Clean Car Rebate Program; Ramps Up Fight with Trump AdministrationAmidst today’s action by the Trump Administration revoking the federal waiver that permits California to set its own strict air pollution controls, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) called on California to step up its effort to further reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by proposing changes to how the state’s clean car rebates are given out. Ting’s measure, AB 40, represents a legislative effort that comes as the United Nations Climate Action Summit begins Monday, where world leaders are expected to bring concrete action plans to accelerate the progress they are making on addressing climate change. 

Under AB 40, only those automakers who have committed to increase the fuel efficiency of their gas-powered fleet - regardless of what the federal government does - would be eligible to participate in the state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). In other words, to qualify for a clean car rebate, the vehicle must be made by car companies that voluntarily agreed with Governor Newsom in July to buck any federal rollback of Obama-era tailpipe regulations in favor of California’s tougher standards. Higher fuel efficiency regulations are key to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to global warming. So far, Ford, Honda, BMW and Volkswagen are on board, with more expected to join.

“California should not be incentivizing the purchase of vehicles manufactured by companies that don’t want to help us achieve our state’s public health and climate goals,” said Ting. “You’re either with us, or you’re not helping to save people’s lives and the planet.”

A recent California Air Resources Board report found the state has reduced GHG emissions overall, except in the transportation sector, which accounts for nearly 40% of the pollution. Then-Governor Jerry Brown issued an Executive Order last year, calling for five million zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) to hit the road by 2030. AB 40 adds the goal of ten million ZEVs by 2035. But, California still has a long way to go. As of August 6, 2019, there were only 626,000 clean cars estimated on its roads. AB 40 also limits rebates to ZEVs, making hybrids no longer eligible for CVRP, while requiring a higher rebate for longer range ZEVs. These changes would make CVRP more efficient in promoting California’s clean air goals.

Ting will continue work on AB 40 through the fall recess, as automakers consider joining the California agreement for more fuel efficient vehicles. The Legislature reconvenes in January, when the proposal would await a committee hearing.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ting Statement Regarding the Resignation Of UC President Janet NapolitanoAssemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the following statement about the resignation of UC President Janet Napolitano. Ting’s statement is as follows:

"On behalf of all Californians, especially those in the UC family, I want to thank President Napolitano for her service to our country and our state. She took over the University of California system during one of its most fiscally challenging times. She worked with the Legislature to increase funding and enrollment and deserves recognition for her contributions. UC continues to be one of the best public university systems in the world."

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Mandate would be higher than the European Union; highest in world

California is poised to continue its environmental leadership by passing the world’s strongest recycling requirement that will help reduce litter and boost demand for used plastic materials. The California State Assembly today sent AB 792 to the Governor - a first-in-the-nation proposal by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) that phases-in the minimum amount of recycled materials plastic beverage bottles must contain, at a standard higher than that mandated in the European Union (EU).

“There’s a terrible cost to our environment if manufacturers are allowed to continue making new plastic every time they need a beverage container. They should reuse what they’ve already made,” said Ting. “If we don’t change now, we will have more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050.”

The recent closure of the state’s remaining rePlanet recycling centers was, in part, due to dwindling domestic demand for recycled plastic. Additionally, China and other overseas markets stopped buying much of California’s recycled waste last year. Now, a crisis is mounting as recyclable plastic stacks up in warehouses or is sent to landfills. AB 792 bolsters demand for recycled plastic and ensures what has already been made does not contaminate our earth.

The EU has already set a goal of 25% recycled content in their plastic bottles by 2025 and 30% by 2030. California’s standards would be higher than the EU’s, establishing an even more aggressive timeframe for minimum recycled content in plastic beverage bottles:

  • January 2021  - 10% minimum contentCalifornia Leads with Ting’s Historic, First-in-the-Country Proposal Requiring Recycled Content in Plastic CRV Bottles
  • January 2025  - 25% minimum content
  • January 2030  - 50% minimum content

Under a compromise reached with stakeholders, AB 792 imposes penalties for non-compliance but grants CalRecycle the authority to adjust minimum content percentages in the event market conditions prevent companies from fulfilling the requirements. Although higher percentages were originally sought under the bill, including a 100% minimum content requirement by 2035, the proposal still represents a major step towards meeting California’s recycling and waste reduction goals

As with all bills sent to the Governor this month by the September 13 deadline, he has until October 13 to act.  If signed into law, AB 792 takes effect on January 1, 2020.

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Proposal is in response to the recent shut down of rePlanet recycling centers

After rePlanet shuttered its remaining 284 recycling centers in California last month, the State Assembly today sent Governor Newsom a temporary emergency solution proposed by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco). AB 54 aims to relieve the long lines at remaining redemption sites and fill the void in areas that no longer have a center.

“We’ve been trying to solve California’s recycling problem for years. Now that it has turned into a crisis, the Legislature must act. AB 54 provides short-term relief while we work over the fall toward a more comprehensive fix that can start moving through the legislative process when we reconvene in January,” said Ting.

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 has 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.

Emergency Recycling Fix by Ting Heads to the GovernorAB 54 allocates $5 million to implement a mobile recycling pilot program administered by CalRecycle. Under the pilot program, local governments, non-profits and others can apply for one of five grants to expand recycling opportunities in areas severely impacted by the rePlanet closures. At least one pilot location must be in a rural area. Ting’s bill also ensures roving redemption centers are open at least eight hours during the weekend when demand for services is highest, while relaxing other administrative requirements to streamline operations. In addition to AB 54, the 2019-20 state budget previously included another $5 million to help more than 400 low-volume recycling centers stay open.

AB 54 also temporarily suspends, through March 2020, the fines assessed on grocers required to take back beverage containers in-store when there are no recycling centers nearby. Due to the sudden closure of hundreds of centers, stores and staff across California are not prepared to assume the responsibility of providing redemption services at certain stores.

As with all bills sent to the Governor this month by the September 13 deadline, he has until October 13 to act.  If signed into law, AB 54 is an urgency measure that takes effect immediately.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

More housing units in the state could be on the way after the State Assembly approved two proposals by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), sending them to the Governor. AB 68 encourages greater adoption of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), commonly known as secondary homes, “in-law units” or “granny flats.” The other proposal, AB 1486, prioritizes construction of affordable housing projects when surplus public land becomes available.

“Accessory Dwelling Units provide a key piece of the puzzle in helping us address California’s unprecedented housing crisis. I support ADUs because they enable homeowners to be part of the solution, and 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.”

By some estimates, California is nearly four million units short of meeting its housing demand. Building ADUs is one of the quickest ways to increase affordable housing supply. After the state relaxed some barriers to construction in 2017, there was an immediate boost to their numbers. Los Angeles, for example, has approved more than 10,500 ADUs since the change, compared to only a few hundred ADUs in years prior. Ting’s bill would 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; and,
  • Allowing more types of units, such as units in multi-family dwellings, to be approved with less bureaucratic review.

Other bills in the Legislature also seek to spur ADU development by reducing certain local government fees and suspending for five years any local rules that require the homeowner lives on their property if it has an ADU. Governor Newsom recently signed AB 670, which forbids homeowners associations from banning ADUs.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Ting Proposal Banning Facial Recognition Technology In Police Body Cameras Heads to the GovernorCalifornia could become the largest state to protect civil liberties by banning facial recognition technology in police body cameras. The California State Assembly today sent Governor Newsom AB 1215, a proposal by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) that prohibits law enforcement from equipping body cameras with facial recognition software and other biometric scanners for three years.

“Without my bill, facial recognition technology essentially turns body cameras into a 24-hour surveillance tool, giving law enforcement the ability to track our every movement. Let’s not become a police state and keep body cameras as they were originally intended – to provide police accountability and transparency,” said Ting.

In addition, facial recognition systems are prone to mistakes. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently put the technology to the test, running photos of all 120 members of the state Legislature through a mugshot database. It falsely matched 26 lawmakers, including Ting. More than half of those falsely identified are lawmakers of color, illustrating the biases and risks associated with the technology’s dangerous inaccuracies if allowed to subject people to perpetual police line-ups. A similar test conducted on members of Congress last year also produced 28 mismatches.