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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
State of California (Shasta, Nevada, Placer, Siskiyou, Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Modoc, Sierra Counties) June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Robert Meacher
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Member of the State Assembly; District 1


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. How will you prioritize the budget choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending?

I would bifurcate public safety retirement plans from the rest of state employees. Take a two-pronged approach. Pension reform need not be "one size fits all". We need a balanced approach to revenues and spending cuts. There is a lot of redundancy, overlap, and duplication of programs and policies at the state level that could be streamlined and/or done away with. I know where a lot of this exists after 20 years as a county supervisor.

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

We need to help with business start-ups, and very-small business retention. Too often, the very little businesses are subsidizing the larger businesses due to the "one size fits all" approach to so many regulations, fees, and taxes. We can fix this. We can do it sensibly, and fairly. We need to overhall the vehicle code. It's getting to the point where we can't get up in the morning without violating a provision of the "code". We need to put cost-of-living adjustments into certain taxes and fees so that the revenues keep up with inflation. We need to reexamine our prison system.

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?

This is a huge concern and one of my top priorities. We have built one college campus in California since 1980. We have built over 20 prisons. We spend less than $10,000 on K thru 12 education per pupil per year, and $50,000 per inmate per year. Our priorities have run amuck. Our children are our future. We must return our state to the where we were not long ago, as the beacon of education. Whatever it takes, we must, and we will address this issue.

4. There is increasing demand on California water, particularly in central and southern California. How do you propose to meet this demand without permanently depleting northern California water sources and further damaging the Delta? How can the less-populated water sources north of the Delta have sufficient say in water policy?

I have been a champion for north-state water rights and a sensible approach to natural resource management. I am the co-chair of the State of California's Watershed Program, the past co-chair of the Cal/Fed Watershed Program, the local government representative to the Cal/Fed Public Advisory Committee overseeing the efforts to "fix" the Bay Delta. My contention is that first we must stop the carnage we are creating to the water supply due to catastrophic wildfires burning up our watersheds. Secondly, e have lost over a million-acre feet of storage in our reservoirs due to a host of issues that are not receiving the funding required to repair decades of neglect. The beneficiaries of the water delivered to central and southern California must be financial partners with the state and federal governments if we are to address this horrific situation. Third,in doing the above, the source areas of our water and their elected officials, must have a weighted voice in the solutions presented to protect the north-state water. The first assembly district rights and economy contains the vast majority of California's water resources. Therefore, it is imperative we elect someone with a knowledge and track record in this important subject area.

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.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 4, 2012 17:31
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