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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara Counties, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 29

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 Bob Fultz:

My budget priorities are: public safety, education, infrastructure, keeping the promises we've already made to our employees and protecting the most vulnerable among us.

I will vote for real balanced budgets that use numbers that reflect the reality of our situation today. There is nothing worse than the legislature passing a fake budget which everyone knows is fake and then when the tax receipts fail to appear, asking everyone in the state government to take mid-year budget cuts. This falls particularly hard on education who are unable to plan for their year.

We must become smarter and more innovative in our delivery of services and use smarter regulation to encourage small businesses and startups to come to California instead of going to states like Texas. Economic growth will also help our budget situation and it will be a major focus of mine.

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

Answer from Bob Fultz:

The process by which the budget is created must become more transparent so that debates about spending priorities are held in public and not behind closed doors. Increased visibility will enable everyone in California to learn more about the current budget and the trade-offs inherent in making the budget.

In addition, we must stop using one-time tax receipts (for example, taxes on capital gains) as part of our ongoing baseline budget. California did this with abandon during the and real estate booms. This lack of budgetary rigor is a large cause of the current budget crisis.

? 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 Bob Fultz:

Education is one of my budget priorities. I will ask educators and administrators at all levels to look for innovative ways to stretch the education dollar and increase productivity inside the system. We must focus our attention on improving student outcomes for the money being spent on education. I will propose that the legislature do less micro-management of education programs and push more of the budgetary decision-making into the system itself where decisions about how to allocate funds to improve student outcomes are best made.

I am also deeply concerned about what may be the start of a trend to accept more out-of-state students over Californians simply because out-of-state students bring more money into the system. California tax dollars should support California tax payers first.

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

Answer from Bob Fultz:

With unemployment around 11% and real unemployment higher, California ranked dead last as the worst state in which to do business and the economy not growing nearly fast enough to produce the jobs that we need for our high school and college graduates to move into, the number one issue is the economy and jobs. We need to unleash the creativity of the people of California by removing unreasonable impediments to economic growth and by being smarter and more efficient in how we open up our economy. Small business and startups will lead us into a brighter future as they always do. California has tremendous resources--not to mention a mild climate and natural beauty--so there's no way that we should be losing to Texas.

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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