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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Santa Clara County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Smart Voter

Shane Patrick Connolly
Answers Questions

Candidate for
State Senator; District 13


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

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

1. Prioritize our state's spending
2. Target funding toward these top priorities
3. De-fund non-priority agencies / boards / commissions.
4. Extend our budgeting time horizon.
5. Allow executive (the Governor) to make necessary mid-term budget cuts when projected revenues fall, with legislative 'veto' power.
6. Reform exorbitant pension plans given to certain state employees to more closely match those offered in the private sector.
7. Increase the time horizon for budgeting - reform process to institute multi-year budgets.
8. Eliminate legislator's vehicle allowances, reduce per-diems.
9. Explore selling under-utilized state assets, returning these assets to the tax rolls and producing tax revenue for the state and localities.

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

Government should reduce subsidies to private universities while expanding funding for Community Colleges, vocational education, and K-12 eduction.

In K-12, state should set high standards but not try to micro-manage local schools. Reduce mandates set by Sacramento. Empower local educational professionals - teacher, administrators, and local boards of education, to develop the methods of meeting high standards.

Encourage competition between schools, public, private, and parochial.

Utilize technology to quickly and widely disburse the latest data on educational innovations and best-practices to education professionals/teachers.

Hold administrators / teachers / school boards accountable for results. Eliminate the existing tenure system for K-12 educators. These systems protect the few poor performers at the expense of their well-performing co-workers and, most importantly, these systems sacrifice some students' educational futures.

Reward high-performing educators. Provide flexibility to offer pay differentials for high-demand disciplines such as the sciences and mathematics.

Provide greater interaction between our teachers, students, and the job-creating business community.

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

I support Governor Schwarzenegger's plan to increase storage and update our aging water delivery systems. Encourage increased water reclamation by business and municipalities. Encourage creative solutions by developing a system to reward those who develop an idea that is ultimately implemented that significantly contributes to addressing water needs.

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

Expand the market for health care, increase competition. Provide a refundable State tax credit to cover the average cost of a health care policy. Allow individuals to pool together to increase buying power. De-link employment and health care coverage so that health care coverage is more like auto insurance market where more choice and price competition abounds. You shouldn't lose your health care just because you lose a job or change jobs. Create greater transparency in the cost of the services provided by doctors, hospitals, emergency rooms, labs, etc.

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

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 27, 2008 17:56
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