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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Kern, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Ventura Counties, CA November 2, 2004 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
State Senator; District 17

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California and asked of all candidates for this office.

See below for questions on Budget Crisis, Education, Water, Health Insurance

Click on a name for other candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?

Answer from Jonathan Daniel Kraut:

California collects $75 billion and spends $100 billion a year. We borrow every year and submit bond measures to cover government excesses. To resolve this, first, we should never spend more than we collect and set a max of $75 billion (the other $25 is normally used to pay for borrowing), saving the rest. Second, we should never borrow our mandatory reserve (saves several billion more). Third, I propose to fund and budget over a 3 or 4 year period instead of annually, ending the annual budget crisis and allowing for better planned services and more logical fiscal forecasting. Finally, I encourage the public volunteers to particpate in government, which lowers the cost of manpower to perform state functions and insures more rapid and better verified information.

2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?

Answer from Jonathan Daniel Kraut:

In California in 2003, 25% of our children fail to meet minimum Federal test standards. As an educator, teacher, and professor, I have helped developed new learning systems and education programs at more than 15 insitutions, to include UCLA, that bring out the best in students and teachers. We know that supporting inspired teachers is the most important element to insuring student success. Some of these systems are currenlty used in high school honor programs and in university graduate schools. I would like to incorporate some of these and other systems into the Califronia education system, which cosntitute new teaching tenchniques and costs no money, insuring that Califonria once again provides a world class education, without paying more.

I also understand the need for special focus on children K-3 who are in the process of learning how to comunicate and how to cooperate with others. My research and understanding of behavior indicates that strong and well-prepared teachers and exciting, engaging environments are crucial to the successful development of these children into honest and capable citizens. I will work to insure these improved systems are availble to every student and not just to honor students and aspiring teachers.

Many Community College faculty comment how academically weak and how poorly prepared are some of our high school graduates. A.C.T., responsible for college entrance exams, estimates only 25% of high school graduates are academically ready for college. More effective teaching techniques and more supportive learning atmospheres (which cost no new monies) implemented in grades 7-12 better help students prepare for academic continuation and encourage professional developemnt and success. Rather than teaching down in the Community Colleges (which is what we sometimes do)we can elevate academic success earlier and better insure our children are able to meet the challenges of college and university education.

3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?

Answer from Jonathan Daniel Kraut:

We need to ecnourage water conservation measures through the planting of arid species on government and private property. More catch basins can be constructed to allow water to perculate into our aquifers. We should also consdier desalinization plants that relieve stress on local, Sierra Nevada, and Owens Valley watershed.

4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?

Answer from Jonathan Daniel Kraut:

We already have a universal health plan, with taxpayer support of County and State emergency centers. Anyone can get medical treatment by calling 911, costing as much as 15 times more than a walk-in visit. Our current policies encourage emergency visits, yet hosptials are closing because we act like medical emergencies are a surprise instead of the routine. Permitting a nominal cost state medical coverage program encourages regular hospital visits and reduces "emergencies" by as much as 50%. We can collect revenues in the billions with only a few dollars a month per person. Also, legislation like Proposition 72, which mandates companies with more than 50 employees (like Walmart) helps cut taxpayer expense, as it requires offering basic medical coverage for as many as a million working Californians. This takes health care costs off of the taxpayer's shoulders and on to plans sponsored by employers.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily.

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:39 PST
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