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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
San Mateo County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 22

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Budget, Government reform, Higher education, Major issues

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?

Answer from Kevin Mullin:

Given an unattainable 2/3 vote requirement for new revenues, the Legislature has been forced to cut state funding and all too often those cuts are falling upon the poor and those least able to absorb them. I will prioritize our safety net services to protect the most vulnerable, and support restoration of funding for Pre-14 public education and higher education in particular, which is critical to future of the state's economy.

Answer from Mark Gilham:

Across-the-board cuts in state employment. Starting at 15% across all departments to 25%. We cut up to 30% until the budget is balanced without raising taxes or borrowing money. We may not like this, but it will work.

? 2. What types of changes or reforms, if any, do you think are important to make our state government function more effectively?

Answer from Kevin Mullin:

I will be an advocate for governance reform at the state capitol to restore the effectiveness and relevance of the Legislature, and hopefully improve its public standing. I support a host of reforms including a majority vote budget (on both expenditures and revenues), budget reform so revenues are stabilized from year-to-year despite swings in the economy, reforming the state-local fiscal relationship to empower local communities to better control their fiscal destiny, and term limits reform (Proposition 28 on the June ballot) to strengthen the hand of legislators in relation to special interests that often dominate Capitol politics.

Answer from Mark Gilham:

Changed to a part-time legislator which gives us greater opportunity for public oversight.

? 3. Fees for public higher education have gone up dramatically and funding has been cut. Is this a priority concern, and if so, what measures would you propose to address it?

Answer from Kevin Mullin:

It is a priority concern, and should the Governor's revenue initiative pass on the November ballot, I would like to see a restoration of funding for higher education and reverse the recent trend whereby students (and their parents) are contributing more to their higher education than the state is providing. This trend must be reversed, and new revenues must be part of the equation to make that a reality

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

Answer from Mark Gilham:

Several issues that I support and running on are:

1) Lowering the Business Tax/ Employee Payroll Tax 2) Eliminating the Inheritance Tax

1) Lowering the business tax. California has a flat corporate income tax rate of 8.84% of gross income. California's maximum marginal corporate income tax rate is the 10th highest in the United States.

I would reduce the business tax which is currently at 8.84% to 0% for the first 3 years, then adjust this to 1% for the next 3 years, then 2% for the next 3 years, to a maximum cap of 3.5%. Most states who we are competing with have a business tax rate of 0.0%. If California is going to competitive in attracting and keeping business in our state, we are going to need to be aggressive in our taxation.

I would also reduce the employee payroll tax to 0% and move to eliminate employee payroll tax completely.

These kinds of actions are a direct benefit to our business's and employee's because the gains are realized immediately.

Eliminating the Inheritance Tax

2)Eliminating the Inheritance tax. It strikes me as odd that the government feels that they have a God-given right to tax us upon receiving an inheritacne. As though the government worked, worried, and stressed over what was granted to us from a loved one who worked their entire life to accumulate, so the governemnt can tax us and give it to whom they feel is more deserving.

Eliminating the inheritance tax is for our benefit; it should be for us to keep what was granted to us from someone who cared about us and not the government.

Whether one call's this a death tax or inheritance tax, either way it is still a tax.

Answer from Kevin Mullin:

In this redistricting/Top 2 primary election year, there are projected to be up to 40 new members of the State Assembly. I believe this represents an opportunity to reach out beyond partisan politics to find consensus on critical challenges facing the state, including creating jobs, fostering economic development, and reviewing our regulatory/business climate. My personal policy priorities are stated above, but I will also work on institutional and operational changes that promote effective policy making and restoring the Legislature's public standing (currently at a 22% approval mark, which is actually above its single digit lows of recent years). Given my background as the San Mateo County cities' representative on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, I will focus efforts on transportation funding for our region including advocacy for the electrification of CalTrain, our commuter backbone service on the Peninsula. I will also be a strong voice for San Mateo County so our county receives its rightful share of state resources given the area's important economic role, from biotech campuses in the north county to high-tech innovation in the south county.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

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: July 26, 2012 13:02 PDT
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