Assemblyman Chen is working hard to bring people together and recover from the damage done by the coronavirus.
Through bipartisan cooperation, he has helped make the state better prepared to deal with the coronavirus while working to safely rebuild our state’s economy.
A Small Business Owner to Lead the Economic Recovery
As a small business owner, Phillip knows how COVID-19 has clobbered our local economy. He knows what it takes to help California’s economy rebound and create the jobs needed for a full recovery.
• Promoting Clean Energy Jobs. Was part of a bipartisan advocacy effort to get Congress to support the clean energy industry in CA by extending tax credits and incentives to keep projects moving that would prevent job losses.
• Strengthening Manufacturing. Coauthored AB 3307 to strengthen California’s manufacturing industry by providing the framework to retool and expand current manufacturing facilities as well as to retain and create high-wage jobs for many Californians.
• Named “Legislator of the Year” by the Orange County Business Council for supporting efforts to make California more business friendly and reduce and streamline regulations to encourage new business and job creation.
Fighting the Spread of COVID-19
Assemblyman Chen helped enact bipartisan emergency legislation to improve the state’s health care response to COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable.
The emergency measure:
Increased hospital bed capacity and purchased medical equipment to ensure we had capacity to treat COVID-19 patients;
Protected hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities most vulnerable to COVID-19 spread;
Provided lifesaving services to Californians isolating at home;
Supported local government efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in homeless populations
Provided support to clean child care facilities that remained open.
Source: SB 89 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review – Budget Act of 2019. SB 117 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review
Supplying Over 200,000 Masks. Secured over w00,000 masks and donated them to nurses, first responders and vulnerable residents.
Adding Nurses to the System. Pushed to get more nurses onto the frontlines by working to waive professional licensing requirements and issuing temporary licenses to add approximately 14,000 healthcare professionals to the workforce to help deal with COVID-19. Source: Communication with Governor Newsom
Helping Prevent the Homeless from Spreading COVID 19. Worked across party lines to provide temporary housing and shelter for homeless individuals who are in high risk categories or have COVID-19. Source: Bipartisan Communication with Governor Newsom’s office
Reducing California’s High Cost of Living
• Reducing Health Care Costs. Backed the most comprehensive drug price transparency bill in the U.S., to force drug makers to publicly justify big price hikes. (SB 17)
• Lowering Property Taxes by $8.5 million by refinancing debt.
• Protecting Prop 13 to Keep Property Taxes Down. Worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to protect Proposition 13 and prevent billions in property tax hikes. Source: SCA 1
• “A” Rated and Endorsed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association because Assemblyman Chen opposed billions in new taxes.
• Fighting High Energy Costs. Mistakes made by our state’s political leaders have caused California to have the highest gas and energy costs in the nation. This drives up costs for everything from gas to food to manufactured items. It’s time we repeal misguided policies that have driven the cost of gas and electricity up.
• Making College More Affordable. Voted to increase the Middle-Class Scholarship Award for students seeking a higher education. Source: AB 129
Helping People Through COVID-19 Created Hardships
• Securing Unemployment Benefits. Helped hundreds of people get unemployment benefits after they were laid off during the COVID-19 shutdown. Also, voted to create the potential of some unemployment insurance beneficiaries to be eligible for an additional 7 weeks of benefits.
• Delaying Property Taxes. Helped lead a bipartisan calling on the Orange County Treasurer-Tax Collector to provide relief to constituents unable to pay their property taxes due to the coronavirus. (Source: OC Delegation letter, click here to read)
Demanding Accountability from State Government
COVID-19 has stretched government in ways never imagined. To help ensure continued delivery of services, Phillip is working to make government more effective and ensure we get the most bang for the buck from our tax dollars.
• Improving Unemployment Services. Pushed to get state government to better address the severe backlog of unemployment insurance claims. Source: Communication with Governor Newsom’s office
• Demanding Transparency on Billions in Spending. Introduced AB 1857 to require the Governor to submit a copy of any state contract to the legislative body, which has the ultimate authority over the state budget and funds.
• Revamping the DMV during COVID-19. Pushed to get DMV field offices to adjust their handling of the elderly or vulnerable populations to protect their health and safety when reopening.
Working to Fix the EDD and Expedite Claims
Assemblyman Chen is working across the aisle to ensure that millions of Californians who are out of work or had their hours reduced receive their EDD claims expeditiously.
Along with other lawmakers, Assemblyman Chen called on the Administration to expand the EDD's operating hours and to hire more staffers to fix the backlog of cases. The administration listened.
For more information, please review Assemblyman Chen's letter regarding the EDD by clicking here.
100% Rated by the California Police Chiefs Association
Assemblyman Chen is endorsed by our local police and deputies because he has worked hard to protect our families, homes and property from crime.
• Keeping Dangerous Criminals Out of Our Communities. Opposed pre-trial release legislation that threatened to place dangerous predators in our neighborhoods. Source: AB 42
• Fighting Human Trafficking. Backed the Human Trafficking Prevention Education and Training Act to teach students how to recognize and avoid tactics used by sexual predators. Source: AB 1227
• Standing up for Victims. Protected victims of sexual crimes and give them peace of mind by requiring parolees to maintain a distance of 35 miles from their victims. Source: AB 335.
• Helping Prosecute Rapists. Authored legislation to address the backlog of untested rape kits so that suspected violent predators are kept behind bars. Source: AB 280.
• Protecting Students from Predators. Supported mandatory background checks for school district vendors to protect students and teachers from harm. Source: AB 949.
• Using More DNA Testing. Supports DNA testing of convicts to help police solve more crimes.
• Improving Crime Prevention. Authored AB 517 to create a property crime task force to investigate the high property crime rate and increase prevention methods.
Demanding High Quality Educations
As an educator and former school board member, Phillip is very concerned about how the COVID-19 restrictions are impacting our children’s education.
• Improving Career Tech. Co-authored AB 1743 to make the California Career Technical Education Incentive Grant Program permanent and funding it at $500 million per year to ensure students continue receiving the career education they need.
• Letting Parents Chose the Best School. Authored AB 396 in 2017 to let parents choose the best school for their child.
Stretching Our Tax Dollars
When Phillip was first elected to the Walnut Valley Unified School District board, the district was broke and had received a negative budget certification.
It took tough leadership to stop the fiscal bleeding, balance the budget, build a rainy-day reserve and maintain some of the highest academic standards in the state.
• Using Audits to Find Corruption. Assemblyman Chen demanded an audit of the UC Regents after they wanted to raise tuition while the UC President kept a $174 million secret reserve, wasted tax dollars on travel and had a taxpayer-funded condo.
• Making the DMV More Efficient. Authored a request to audit the DMV which would have addressed the increase in wait times to process routine transactions including wait times for those with an appointment.
Honoring Our Veterans
Phillip believes America’s heroes deserve the best services that state and local government can provide.
• Lowering Tuition Rates. Co-authored AB 172 to expand eligibility for Armed Service members’ families to qualify for in-state tuition.
• Providing Legal Advice for Veterans. Backed a measure requiring the California State Bar to provide free legal assistance to veterans and their families who otherwise cannot afford it. Source: AB 360
Protecting Senior Citizens
• Stopping Senior Scams. Hosted FREE Senior Scam Stopper events in the 55th Assembly District to teach elderly citizens how to protect themselves against devastating financial scams.
• Protecting Seniors from Elder Abuse. Voted to provide seniors with more protection from financial and elder abuse. Source: AB 611
Fighting Sexual Harassment
• Co-authored the “Legislative Employee Whistleblower Protection Act” to grant legislative employees protections against retaliation. Source: AB 403
• Supported SB 419 to cover all related forms of harassment and explicitly apply the anti-retaliation protections of the Fair Employment and Housing Act to legislative employees and lobbyists.
Supporting Equal Pay for Equal Work
• Backed a call to eliminate the gender gap and demand equal pay for equal work. Source: SCR 26
Requiring Family Leave
• Backed AB 196 to ensure workers get 100% of wages earned instead of the 60 or 70% as currently required by the state’s paid leave program.