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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Solano, Yolo County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 8

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 Choices, Budget Process, Higher Education, Major Issues and Priorities

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

? 1. How will you prioritize the budget choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending, and address the need for fair revenue sources that are sufficient for state and local government services?

Answer from Michelle Connor:

I think that the following things, in no particular order, should be priorities for the legislature in budget consideration: Schools (including music and p.e.), K-12, Universities, Transportation (CalTrans-rail), Water (Desalinization efforts, Dams, Underground storage), state lands, parks, higher education, helping to grow alternative energy. Budget Cap, Lowering Capital gains, corporate and individual taxes.

? 2. What proposals, if any, do you support to fix the budget process? What other types of changes or reforms, if any, do you think are important to make our state government function more effectively?

Answer from Michelle Connor:

The whole budget process needs to be looked at, and to be streamlined. We need to reevaluate all the programs that the state is paying for. There is no excuse for California's continual budget crisis. I would propose several changes in the budget process. a. Spend within our means b. Create a Budget Cap to ensure that we don't spend beyond our means c. Implement a better rainy day fund- Make sure some money is saved for the next fiscal year and fund the structural deficit d. California is currently one of the only states that does not automatically use the prior year's budget if one is not passed. I would change this so that the state's business can continue even if the legislature can not come to an agreement or doesn't use a continuation vote.

? 3. Many members of the Legislature say that education is a high priority for the state. Yet fees for public higher education have gone up dramatically and funding has been cut. What is your vision for California’s higher education future, and how do you propose to get there?

Answer from Michelle Connor:

The State of California needs to look at how UC Regents are spending their money. Paying for a tier one education is getting more expensive, so to help with those costs we should look at slowly raising fees over years instead of all at once. Jr. Colleges and UCs need to have a better system of transferring courses to help more people get a four year degree in less time and to lessen the cost of both great education systems.

? 4. What other major issues do you think the Legislature must address in 2011? What are your priorities?

Answer from Michelle Connor:

My priorities are the same as the ones the legislature absolutely must address to get the state back on track. These include getting people back to work by helping to reverse the unfriendly business climate in California and working towards having a balanced state budget that is passed on time.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' responses are not edited or corrected by the League. No candidate may refer to another candidate in the response.

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

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Created: January 6, 2011 15:01 PST
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