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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Orange County, CA June 5, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Steve Young
Answers Questions

Candidate for
State Senator; District 37


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?

My California Jobs Creation Plan The recession left many deeply in debt, unemployed or underemployed, and unable to see a way up to the future. Meaningful, plentaful jobs is the only ladder out of the economic hole we find our state in. Working families and businesses are partners in climbing to a brighter future -- without employers, we have no jobs. If America is not strong at home, we will be unable to stand for what we believe around the world. National security begins with a strong middle class.

The ladder to the full employment and a secure future has four rungs:

The First Rung - Health Care for All: Seven million (7,000,000) people living in California have no health coverage. Imagine the number of doctors, nurses, technicians, support staff, hospital employees, educators to train medical staff to meet seven million new people in the health system. Add to that the related industrial expansion in the pharmaceutical sector, construction sector and administrative and clerical personnel, transportation specialists etc. Sources estimate that providing health care for every Californian will create as many as 2.5 million new jobs. The cost of such a program breaks even. Imagine the savings in insurance premiums to cities, counties and the state, to businesses and to individuals. The insurance and tax savings in the public and private sector under this program will offset the marginal bracketing of taxes to support the system.

Rung 2 + Workforce Development: We cannot compete in our high tech world if we are losing the engineering education race. I will propose legislation that will provide that any California resident in college, who majors in engineering, hard sciences or mathematics and maintains a "B" or better average, will pay zero tuition, from year one, through postgraduate studies. Imagine the crop of new students who will fill the class rooms in these underutilized and underrepresented majors. This program will reinvigorate our high school science and math programs as well because students intent on a "free education" will demand quality teachers and instruction so they can compete with their classmates at the collegiate level.

Rung 3 + Improving State Infrastructure: Modern roads, water systems, airports, high-speed rail systems, subway systems, schools and sewers are necessary for business to thrive and compete in the world market. The California infrastructure must expand and improve to retain and grow businesses, so California can lead the world into prosperity. I will champion projects and related public policies that lead to greater water quality and manage waste water and urban runoff. We must also develop a comprehensive, data-based, broadband deployment strategy for California.

Rung 4 + Housing Affordability: Employers cannot attract skilled workers if the workers cannot afford to live in California. We must make housing more affordable or we will choke off any prospect of expanding California's economy. I advocate: a) creating a state down+ payment assistance program; b) requiring cities to comply with affordable housing quotas in granting building permits; and c) reinstating affordable housing construction programs and incentives. I believe that spurring residential construction and commercial construction will stimulate growth and create jobs.
California jobs are an investment in our future.

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

Term limits have crippled California's government by eliminating experienced leaders from office. We had term limits before, it was called "elections." If a politician was not responsive to the electorate or abused his office, the cure was an election.

The present system of limiting terms to two or three cycles means that institutional expertise is ceded to the lobbyists who have no term limits and become the main resource for neophyte legislators.

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?

Make California #1 Again

California reaps the benefits of greatness every time we emphasize education. I remember a child of immigrants, whose father was murdered by an unknown assailant in Bakersfield, He had the opportunity after graduating from Kern County High School (now Bakersfield High School) of attending UC Berkley because the UCs were tuition free at the time. Without such a system he would have followed his father's path and continued to work in a railroad repair yard because he could not afford tuition. He continued at the same school for law school and graduated as an attorney. Few who knew young Earl Warren would have guessed he would become governor of California and later become the chief justice of the US Supreme Court and issue some of the most important decisions in the court's history. What would have been if he had lived today with ever escalating tuition expenses that would have barred him from going to college?

California is now ranked 48th in the United States. Politicians talk about improving education; I ask why aren't we striving to be number 1 again?

Our challenge is not just to build better schools, but to create the best schools in the world. Today we stand at the beginning of the journey. There are signs we must heed to arrive at the best schools in the world, including "small classrooms," "more teachers," "better technology," and "state of the art curricula" to prepare California's children for the challenges of tomorrow. De-funding education does not solve our education challenges because nothing grows if hopelessly constricted.

I envision a state apprenticeship program that brings business, labor, and educators together to offer non-college-bound students vocational training so they can graduate high school with an occupation.

I advocate a program that returns University of California to a "tuition free" institution for every qualified Californian.

I support an "Engineering Manhattan Project" to grant any college student majoring in engineering, hard sciences or mathematics, who maintains a "B" or better average, free tuition, from year one, through postgraduate studies. We will graduate more California scientists and engineers, and reinvigorate our high school science and math programs because students intent on a "free education" will demand quality teachers and instruction so they can compete with their classmates at the collegiate level.

Education today is more than the first step on the road to life, -- it is our bridge to the future.

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

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, and Jobs.

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 3, 2012 18:03
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