This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Fresno, Madera, Tulare Counties, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 29

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 candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

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

Answer from Humberto Avila:

The key challenge in the legislature is tackling the gridlock, particularly in regard to passing a responsible state budget on time. Year after year, the leadership of both parties in Sacramento has passed on the hard decisions to future generations creating further debt for us all. It seems that only the extreme viewpoints are being represented in Sacramento and we need more moderate representatives from both sides of the aisle so that we can get things done effectively and on time. The Republican leadership has refused to raise revenue. This will lead to unacceptable cuts in spending on education, healthcare and the environment. Because a two thirds vote is needed to pass the state budget Republican votes are needed. I will work for budgets that are not only cutting wasteful spending, but that will also, when needed; raise revenues by closing tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs overseas or state their name in other states for tax purposes.

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

Answer from Humberto Avila:

The University of California and California State University systems have had a 94% increase in tuition over the last 6 years. This has put a heavy strain on young people, who must decide whether to continue their higher education or to go to work. If California is to get out of this budget crisis, taxing students is not the answer. According to studies by the Campaign for College Opportunity, for every dollar that California invests in the education of college students, the state will net three dollars in return. If we do not invest in college education we are dooming our future, because we will not be prepared for the 21st century economy. Just like we need to invest in college education we need to invest in K-12 education for the future of California, because it is important that our children have all the educational advantages that they will need to succeed. These include up to date books, more teachers, lower class sizes, and more resources that help teachers teach children and get them ready for the 21st century economy. Right now much of the student funding streams are locked down with so many restrictions, whether it is at the federal level with the no child left behind act or at the state level. Schools or school districts need resources freed up so that they can have local discretionary control that will allow schools to address their particular needs. This is important because the problems of Bullard high school are not the same as the problems of Clovis high or Madera high school. Another good idea I would introduce for our public schools, would be a pupil weight based system. In this system every student would have a base amount of funds for education, but if there are special needs that a student needs they will have added weights to help close the achievement gap. For example a low-income student or an English-learning student would mean that the district would receive more funding than a student who was not low income or an English learner. Ideas like these will help close the achievement gap that exists in our schools.

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

Answer from Humberto Avila:

Currently the delta is deteriorating, and this could lead us to a water crisis if we do not come up with smart solutions to our problems. California has explored options, ranging from a dam at Temperance Flat to ground water restoration programs, to increase our water supply. As an Assemblyman, I will propose to use government resources to explore various options and fund the one that is the most cost effective, creates the most jobs, and is the most environmentally sound.

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

Answer from Humberto Avila:

Health care is in desperate need for reform. Healthcare has been plagued by inefficient use of funds and mistakes made by the healthcare providers. We need to emphasize new centralized electronic record keeping, so that we can reduce errors and time wasted filling out the same forms over and over. This simple step would help cut costs and waste from keeping vast paper records. Electronic record keeping would reduce errors made by providers due to spelling errors and penmanship. Reducing errors in hospitals will lower malpractice insurance rates, thus lowering prices for healthcare. We need to emphasize living a healthier and more active life. We need to focus on preventative medicine so that we can stop illnesses before they become too costly to treat. I will work for legislation to provide access to healthcare for all California's residents.

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

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

This Contest || Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: January 24, 2009 10:43 PST
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.