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Orange County, CA November 5, 2002 Election
Smart Voter

Valuing our Families

By William R. "Bill" Orton

Candidate for Member; California State Assembly; District 67

This information is provided by the candidate
We talk about "Family Values," but there are things that government can do RIGHT AWAY to VALUE OUR FAMILIES.
Government is, really, just a small part of life. A small player. There are so many other aspects of daily living that take on far greater importance than politics and government.

No single human activity is more important than to raise a child well. No job is harder, nor more rewarding.

Yet there are small ways that government can act to help make life better for parents and children. These are not big things, but they're important steps, because they show both through symbolism and with a tangible result that society truly values our families.

I think we should...

  • Create a REFUNDABLE TAX CREDIT for joint-filing households with a "STAY-AT-HOME" parent. It's tough, long work to be a "stay-at-home" parent. The day doesn't end at 5 pm. There's no breaks at the coffee area or leisurely lunches at noon.

This is not a gender thing, as there are fathers as well as mother who stay-at-home to raise the kids. So often, the "stay-at-home" parents works much harder than the nine-to-five parent, but try and get just one tiny little of respect out there telling people what you do and you'll be met with, "Oh, you don't work."

No government tax credit could even begin to provide a true compensation for how hard a "stay-at-home" parent works. That is not my goal. Instead, it is a way for society to say that, "Your job is hard, the work is invaluable and the effort you make to raise our next generation is worth something." Government can't give much. No tax-refund could ever be enoung. But as a symbol -- and as money that could jingle in your family's pocketbook each taxday -- this would be a meaningful way to recognize the "stay-at-home" parents.

  • Offer CHILDCARE VOUCHERS to working families and to parents seeking a way up from welfare.

There are plenty of families who struggle with the dilemma of having to choose between one parent giving up a job or both of them working all the more just to pay for quality cildcare. There are not enough quality care providers in the system and the competition is driving up prices. And for families caught in the trap of welfare, the biggest hole left unpatched in welfare reform is childcare.

We need to go ahead with a fundamental review of childcare in California. The Governor's expansion of some programs and his commitment to the concept is a valuable part of this whole picture, but nothing's going to happen unless there's a lawmaker who galvanizes others on the issue.

I'll make childcare, child nutrition, child health, recreation, school safety and other kid-related issues my top legislative priority.

I'll ask the Speaker of the Assembly to put together a standing Assembly Committee on Children and ask that I be named its chair. I ask for a Member of the other party to serve as my Vice Chair.

All of this is part of VALUING OUR FAMILIES. It's not about talk. It's about action. And it's action that will help the people who are doing the hardest and most wonderful task in the world... raising kids.

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ca/state Created from information supplied by the candidate: July 3, 2002 22:07
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