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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda, Santa Clara County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 20

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 Robert "Bob" Wieckowski:

Too many times, Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed to balance the state budget on the backs of the most vulnerable; students, seniors, and the working-class.

We need to seek new means for revenue in the state. For instance, California is the only oil-producing state in the country that does not tax oil extracted from the ground. We must ensure that large companies pay their fair share so that we do not balance the backs on the state's needy by slashing important services. That's why being innovative about revenue will help the Legislature pass more fair and more humane budgets.

? 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 Robert "Bob" Wieckowski:

What makes it difficult for legislators who want to protect vital services in proposed budgets is the 2/3 requirement to pass the state budget.

We see CSU and UC fees rise, IHSS slashed, and aid to the disabled cut not because of the majority of the Legislature chooses to, but because the minority in both houses can hold the state budget hostage for their own political purposes.

If this obstacle is reformed into a simple-majority budget, the people of Californians will see the Legislature doing what it's supposed to do: work on behalf of all Californians.

? 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 Robert "Bob" Wieckowski:

First of all, I'd oppose ANY cuts to education. The damage caused by the past two-years cuts will take years to repair. I also support AB 656 (Torrico) as a common sense solution to bring immediate and needed relief to this problem. I plan to consult the CTA, CFA, CFT, CSEA, and Student organizations (Community College, CSU, UC) for their ideas. For example, AFSCME and UPTE/CWA have done an extensive amount of research on UC finances and have some valid ideas of where to cut `fat' to offset student fees. I'm certain every student senate, PTA and union has similar ideas.

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

Answer from Robert "Bob" Wieckowski:

Voters have one thing on their minds this political season: Jobs. On the Fremont City Council, I helped bring 4,000 jobs to the region by helping to attract renewable energy plants to the city of Fremont. It is important that California remain a leader in Green Technology.

Also while on the council, we worked to expand BART to Warm Spring, which also created hundreds of jobs in the region. It is imperative that California reinvests in its infrastructure. This will keep our workforce working and our economy strong.

With that said, we must also ensure that our state's future is equipped to continue to create more jobs. This is why it is absolutely essential that we restore K through 14 funding, and that we invest more in the UC and the CSU. Education ensures the future of California's economy.

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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