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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Amador, El Dorado, Sacramento, San Joaquin Counties, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 10

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 Alyson Huber:

During my time in office I have made many touch choices. Budgets should be compromises with both parties meeting in the middle.

State government cannot be all things to all people. We must focus on our core functions -education, infrastructure and public safety - and leave the rest to the local and federal governments. Cutting waste will only get us so far, we must also make the tough choices and cut programs.

One of the first steps we must take is instituting a process where we regularly review the boards, commissions, agencies, etc that make up state government. Right now, California has no process in place to ask the fundamental questions of efficiency and effectiveness and cannot justify every tax dollar we spend. I authored two sunset review bills, AB 1659 and 2130, which were signed by the Governor to create this process. Texas has a similar process which over time has cut the state budget by 5% - in California 5% is $4 billion dollars. Sunset review won't solve all our budget problems but it's a start.

? 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 Alyson Huber:

As an Assemblymember, I am focused on reforming the way the state does business and holding government accountable to the taxpayers so that our children can have a quality education, people can get back to work and the economy can get moving. One of my top priorities is reforming the state's out of control boards and commissions and conducting audits of state programs to weed out waste, fraud and abuse.

As Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, I have called in state departments to question them about mismanagement and have held numerous oversight hearings on federal stimulus spending.

Government needs checks and balances to operate properly. We do not currently have a check against the growth of government and the creation of new bureaucracy and that's why I am fighting hard for a Sunset Review process to actually eliminate inefficient and ineffective government agencies.

? 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 Alyson Huber:

I understand what students are facing right now because I was in the same situation when I was in college. Overcoming family hardships as a child, I worked hard to put myself through school and was the first of in my family to graduate from college. Raised in Lodi, I attended San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. I received a scholarship for my success on the debate team to California State University, Chico. After state budget cuts threatened to dismantle Chico's speech and debate team, I transferred to Cornell University to complete my studies. I returned to California to go to law school at UC Hastings.

Our students have sacrificed enough. I committed to not supporting a budget that contained any more cuts for education, both K-12 and higher ed. Money isn't the answer to all the issues facing education but we must ensure our schools at least have a stable level of funding so they aren't forced to make dramatic changes year after year leaving students vulnerable.

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

Answer from Alyson Huber:

The only way we get California back on track is to cut through the politics. That is what I have tried to do in the Assembly. There is still more work to do and with your support we can move the state forward.

My priorities are:

1. Reform and Oversight: Government must be more efficient and we must cut waste, fraud and abuse. This year, I was successful in getting a sunset review process in place to conduct comprehensive, routine reviews of state government to ensure taxpayers that their money is being used wisely. In 2011, I would focus on implementation of the process and setting a schedule of reviews.

2. Public Safety: One of the most important roles state government has is to ensure the safety of its citizens. Even as our economic times become more critical, public safety must remain a top priority.

3. Education and Jobs: Education must always be one of our top priorities. By investing in our students we will ensure they have the skills necessary to keep California's economy competitive. Small businesses ultimately drive our state's economic engine and in these difficult times we must do everything we can to spur investment, innovation and production so that we can get people back to work.

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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