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|San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara Counties, CA||June 22, 2010 Election|
John Laird on the Issues
By John LairdCandidate for State Senator; District 15
This information is provided by the candidate
John Laird on the Issues: Budget, Education, Reforming Sacramento, Environment, Economy and Jobs, State Parks and Coastal IssuesBUDGET
The annual legislative gridlock over the budget has paralyzed our state government. As the former Assembly Budget Chair, John earned a reputation as a budget expert--he was a consistent proponent of investing in California's future and a critic of excessive borrowing.
In 2006, as Budget Chair, John helped deliver the first on-time budget since 2000--a budget that reduced community college fees, restored funding for transportation and K-12 education and increased the budget reserve, while reducing the deficit.
As a former Mayor and City Councilmember, John knows how deeply budget cuts are affecting local government and its ability to protect public safety, keep the roads paved and keep downtown economies moving.
In the State Senate, John will fight for the same principles that he has worked for his entire career: he will work across the aisle to pass a budget that benefits California without excessive cuts to schools, state parks and other vital services.
John is an educator and former Community College Trustee, so he knows firsthand the impact that state budget cuts can have on our schools. Sacramento has been starving our schools, shortchanging our students and endangering our economic future.
John knows that we cannot afford our K-12 schools to continue to rank 46th in the nation in per pupil spending. And - as a university educator - he knows that higher education must be accessible and high quality.
John has the experience, ideas and motivation to change the way Sacramento does business. He will work to restore the public's trust in our state government.
He believes strongly that Sacramento must work in a bipartisan way to get anything done. As an Assembly Member, John worked hard to bridge partisan gaps--leading a number of bipartisan efforts, including chairing a special committee that authored a bi-partisan package of local government mandate reform bills.
In the State Senate, John will continue to reform Sacramento and work to break the gridlock. And John will fight to require independent audits every year and bring increased oversight of agency spending.
John has never wavered from his opposition to offshore drilling that endangers our coast. When Governor Schwarzenegger began selling a bill of goods to California voters, John never bought the idea that more rigs would be the answer to our budget crisis. For the past 25 years, when he successfully led the passage of a ballot measure that prevented new offshore oil facilities off the Santa Cruz coast without voter approval, John has consistently opposed offshore drilling. In the Assembly, John ensured the availability of oil spill response funds in the case that our coast is struck with a similar tragedy that the Gulf Coast is currently experiencing.
In the Assembly, John was a leading voice on investing in renewable energy, creating "green jobs" and incorporating sustainable building in California. He was a key figure in efforts to invest in renewable fuels, technologies, advanced vehicles and alternative fuel infrastructures to help California meet its climate change goals and create green jobs. Additionally, John worked to create incentives for local governments to utilize renewable energy sources and homeowners to reduce energy use.
As Budget Chair, John fought to ensure that the state adequately funded environmental resources and protection. He worked to fund programs that protected our vulnerable ocean resources and augmented Fish & Game funding.
ECONOMY AND JOBS
John believes that we need to change our approach to business in California and that we have to invest in green technology and green jobs. The 15th State Senate District - from Silicon Valley to Santa Barbara - has to be a leader in the jobs of the future. He knows that we can protect the environment, provide cheap and renewable energy sources and create the jobs of tomorrow, by making it easier for businesses to start and grow right here.
He also believes that we need to restore California's public university and college system to the prominence it once had. As a former Community College Trustee, John understands that the retraining that is done in our community colleges is vital to coming out of our economic downturn--job training that is threatening by the loss of state support.
As an Assembly Member, John fought to keep our state parks open because they protect California's landmarks and historical heritage. They are also the anchors for visitor-serving jobs on the Central Coast. There are almost as many parks in the 15th Senate District as any other--they help the local hotels, restaurants and travel industry stay afloat. John believes that fighting for state parks is fighting for local jobs.
As Budget Chair, John fought to ensure that the state began to refund the $1 billion backlog in state park maintenance. And John was the original proponent of the parks access pass measure that voters will likely consider this November. The measure would finally provide adequate maintenance support for California's parks and would provide growing revenues that can accommodate new parklands.
In the Assembly, John was a significant leader on coastal issues that affect our local coastal environment, economy and way of life. He authored legislation on the coastal trail, storm water runoff, invasive aquatic species, cruise ship dumping, sea otter protection, oil spill response funding and enhancing the marine protection process.
In the State Senate, John will continue to be an important and passionate voice on coastal issues. He will ensure that the Coastal Commission has the resources it needs to reduce its backlog and protect the coastal environment.
Position Paper 2
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