Press Releases

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Ting Proposal Allows Cannabis Businesses To Make Tax Payments with CryptocurrencyCalifornia could become the second state to accept virtual currency for tax payments

It’s hard to believe that paying taxes can be dangerous, but it is for California’s cannabis businesses, which cannot open bank accounts because the federal government still categorizes marijuana as an illegal substance. As a result, the $1 billion industry is run almost entirely on cash and businesses often have to hire armored trucks to deliver hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax payments to state and local governments. Under AB 953, Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) proposes to allow cryptocurrency as an accepted form of payment for cannabis-generated taxes.

“It’s very risky for cannabis businesses to transport large amounts of cash in order to pay their tax bills. Too many things can go wrong. Cryptocurrency offers a solution that’s safer and cheaper for the industry," said Ting, author of the landmark bill. "Lowering the cost to pay taxes will also help combat black market activity and encourage more businesses to get licensed.”

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Ting Announces $4.5 Million in New State Grants to Bring Fresh, Healthy Foods to Underserved Neighborhoods

Access to fresh, healthy food is a problem for many Californians, particularly those who live in food deserts where no grocery stores or supermarkets are located. But help is on the way! Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today announced the availability of $4.5 million in state grants to enable corner stores and small markets to purchase energy efficient refrigeration units. In return, beneficiaries of the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program agree to carry California-grown produce and other healthier options.

“Your address shouldn’t determine your diet,” said Ting, who helped create the program and secure grant funding as Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee. “The state is stepping in to ensure more people have access to healthy and nutritious foods no matter where they live.”

Without grocery stores close by, residents of underserved communities have no choice but to shop at corner markets, which do not always have the resources to stock fresh food. This void contributes to diet-related diseases and, ultimately, poor health. The Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program enables existing markets to offer residents better choices.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Claim your money through CalEITC(Sacramento, CA) - The tax season is underway! As many as one million more Californians may be eligible for a state refund under the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), which was expanded again for the 2018 tax year. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, championed the effort during negotiations in 2018. Research has shown that EITCs are an effective anti-poverty tool. CalEITC put nearly $350 million directly in the hands of 1.4 million people last year, tripling the number of households that claimed the credit when compared to the prior year.

“California’s strong economy enables us to give a modest income boost to the families that need it the most,” said Ting. “The majority of Californians eligible for the state Earned Income Tax Credit are single-income households headed by women with children, and a refund can be life-changing for them. Adding self-employed workers for the first time in the 2017 tax year, particularly those in the gig economy, was especially impactful.”

Workers must file an income tax return in order to get the refund, even if they don’t owe anything. Every year, California leaves $2 billion of unclaimed state and federal EITC money on the table.  Help us spread the word! Numerous non-profits can connect workers with free tax preparation services. This year, taxes are due by Monday, April 15th.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Gabriel Petek Named New Legislative AnalystSenator Holly Mitchell, Chair, Assemblymember Phil Ting, Vice-Chair, and the members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) today announced that Gabriel Petek has been selected to be the next Legislative Analyst for the California Legislature.

Petek, who currently serves as a Managing Director and the San Francisco Office Head, as well as the Primary Credit Analyst for California, for S & P Global Ratings, will assume the job February 4, 2018. He succeeds Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, who assumed the post in 2008 and retired at the end of 2018. Petek will be only the sixth person to lead the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) since the office was established in 1941.

The selection of Petek concludes a bipartisan, bicameral, nationwide search conducted by a Subcommittee on the Selection of the Legislative Analyst, which came to a close with official action by the full Joint Legislative Budget Committee. The JLBC’s selection of Petek on January 16 was approved on a unanimous 14-0 vote.

“One of my key priorities throughout this bipartisan process was to identify a new Legislative Analyst who will help the legislature achieve its policy and oversight goals by providing thoughtful analysis and support. Gabriel Petek brings strong credentials and experience to the job. I look forward to engaging him in the budget process, so we can make the smartest fiscal decisions for California,” said Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).

Thursday, January 10, 2019

TING STATEMENT ON GOVERNOR’S BUDGET RELEASEAssemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, released the statement below following Governor Gavin Newsom’s budget release:

“We clearly share the same values with the Governor. I’m excited to see priorities outlined in our Assembly Budget Blueprint, Funding Progress | Protecting Tomorrow, included in his budget, especially:

  • Strong reserves in the Rainy Day Fund and Resiliency Fund ($18.5 billion total);
  • One-time investments, which ensure the State keeps a structural operating surplus in future years;
  • Paying down state debts and unfunded retirement liabilities;
  • Helping school districts with retirement costs;
  • Investments in early education, including full-day kindergarten;
  • Support for higher education students, including expanding financial aid;
  • Expanding access to health care, including help with coverage affordability;
  • Increasing CalWORKs grant levels and growing our existing home visit program;
  • Critical funding to expand affordable housing and prevent homelessness; and,
  • A dramatic expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit for working poor families.

I look forward to working with the Governor to craft a progressive, yet prudent, fiscal plan that will benefit all Californians. Hearings will begin in a few weeks so the public can help us shape this proposal into a final state budget. 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, Funding Progress | Protecting Tomorrow, please click here.

Monday, January 7, 2019

First state in the country to mandate a move toward e-receipts

Sacramento - Paper receipts have become obsolete in the digital age, wasting valuable natural resources and putting the health of consumers and retail workers at potential risk when exposed to their chemical contents. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today introduced AB 161, Skip the Slip legislation that makes electronic receipts the default practice when making a purchase. Businesses in the state would have to provide customers e-receipts by 2022, unless a hard copy is specifically requested.

“Most of us don’t need a physical receipt for every transaction. It doesn’t make sense to kill so many trees and produce 12 billion pounds of carbon emissions, the equivalent of one million cars on the road, to make something we don’t often need,” said Ting.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

 Several Ting Bills To Become California 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, 2019. They include:

AB 87-Autonomous Vehicles: Allows law enforcement to impound autonomous vehicles operating without proper permits to ensure road safety.

AB 1184 - TNC Tax: Affirms San Francisco’s authority to place a ride-hailing tax on the local ballot to fund much-needed transportation projects.

AB 1985-Hate Crime: Sets minimum standards for hate crime policies adopted by local law enforcement agencies, using the Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) framework.

AB 2127-Electric Vehicle Infrastructure: Requires the California Energy Commission to assess the state’s current and future electric vehicle infrastructure needs, preparing us for the move toward cleaner cars.

AB 2219-Third Party Rent: Helps keep families in their homes by requiring landlords to take rent payments for a third party, such as a relative or non-profit organization.

AB 2620-Car Rental Theft: Enables rental car companies to recover stolen vehicles by allowing them to turn on the location feature of a GPS three days after the due date

AB 2832 - Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling (co-author with Assemblymember Dahle): Establishes the Lithium-Ion Car Battery Recycling Advisory Group at CalEPA to recommend best practices for the recovery and recycling of lithium-ion vehicle batteries sold with electric vehicles.

AB 2942-Prosecutor’s Discretion: Gives local prosecutors an avenue to recommend the re-sentencing of inmates unjustly serving long sentences and have been rehabilitated.

SB 212-Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program (co-author with Senator Jackson): Creates a statewide, industry-funded take-back program for unused prescription drugs and needles.

Please note AB 748-Body Camera Disclosure, a landmark police accountability bill, was also signed by the Governor this year, but will not take effect until July 1, 2019. It increases police transparency by requiring body camera footage of officer-involved shootings and uses of force to be released within 45 days of the incident, unless the incident is still under investigation.