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|League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Read the answers from all candidates.
1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?
First and foremost, California's legislature and governor need to commit to a collaborative working relationship. This will allow the formation of a budget solution which will incorporate spending reductions, spending caps, a combination of short-term and longer-term debt financing, and any voter-approved solution to augment the revenue base.
2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?
The priorities for all state schools are class size reduction, teacher quality, parent involvement and empowerment, and improvement of dilapidated facilities. We need to prioritize our resources to immediately respond to those school of greatest need, those which are scoring in the lowest 20 percent on the California Academic Performance Index. Funding for schools statewide is uneven and inconsistent. Student funding ratios need to be revised and equalized. Our community colleges are the most accessible point of entry for general education and certificated programs which result in jobs. Vocational training opportunities should be increased to improve the qualifications of California's workforce.
3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?
Legislative actions and incentives for regional efforts toward self-sufficiency are key elements for success in the maintenance of water supply. To this end, local flood control subventions must be funded and reimbursement for past subventions must be secured. The State Water Plan should be supported for supply development progress. Greater jurisdiction for certain water quality issues should be granted to local and regional governmental authorities. Watershed and subwatershed organization and collaboration have been extremely efficient and successful in northern rural regions, and deliver cost savings and a high level of citizen involvement when compared with traditional government regulatory efforts. I support funding for technical assistance and performance-based outcomes for watershed collaboratives to achieve cost- efffective results and citizen involvement. Groundwater management should be local with local ordinances in place to protect groundwater from overdraft due to water export. Any measure to integrate and optimize the state/federal relationship on water supply and quality issues would be highly supportable. Expanded household conservation programs would have my support.
4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?
California's legislative goal should be to create a single-entry system for the medically indigent. The Legislature should reduce expenditures on the state level to the degree that the state can fulfill its funding commitment to Counties Medical Services Program and remove the cap on the Healthy Families program. The Legislature should also support living wage provisions so that families can actually afford health care.
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