This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Sonoma, Humboldt, Mendocino, Del Norte, Trinity Counties, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 2

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 Fiscal Choices, Water, Education, Your Priorities

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

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

Answer from Jim Wood:

I believe that the Governor's efforts to create a rainy day fund is a good step towards long term financial stability and potentially offers some protection against the boom and bust cycles we experience with statewide funding of critical programs. We must live within our means, but we must also recognize and respect that cuts to safety-net programs can ultimately have a much higher costs than the short term savings realized. We must recognize when there are imbalances and act accordingly. We must invest in education as a long term solution for improving the quality of our workforce. We must make college affordable.

Answer from Matt Heath:

The $200 Billion of unfunded public pension liabilities must be addressed first and foremost. California current gross total of $300 Billion in unfunded liabilities will bankrupt the state unless dealt with as priority number one. If Sacramento's hidden debt (unfunded liabilities) is not dealt with, California will not be able to provide any funding for education and infrastructure. Keep promises and contracts with all retirees and previous work days while providing an opportunity for future generations with new contracts for future employees and days worked.

? 2. Given our current drought condition, concern for water rights and usage is an important issue. What solutions would you support to address our water problems?

Answer from Matt Heath:

Sacramento must finish California's great water project and complete dams, like Coyote Dam, to completion. Water storage must be priority number one in solving our current and future droughts and is the responsible policy Sacramento should act upon.

Answer from Jim Wood:

Changes in personal behavior around the prudent use of water should become the norm - with or without a drought. We waste much too much water. Conservation is a critical issue.

We also have critical water storage needs. Some of our reservoirs have not been optimized for maximum capacity and we should be focusing on this. Further, outdated water release protocols by the Federal Government have diminished our water supplies and more efforts must be made to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to improve this practice.

Finally, I believe we need to be looking to create new water storage projects. Water storage has not kept pace with population in California.

? 3. California high school students rank lower than many states in student performance. What do you see as the ongoing role of the Legislature in addressing this problem?

Answer from Jim Wood:

Teachers need the resources to educate our children to be competitive in the 21st century. We rank 49th in the United States in per pupil funding. This disparity in funding makes it very difficult to provide the quality of education necessary to have high performing students. The legislature should insure that resources are available and adequate. The legislature should also resist reducing funding for education when the economy struggles as I believe that diminishes our ability to recover from bad economic times.

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

Answer from Jim Wood:

We have major challenges with the delivery of healthcare in rural communities which creates significant disparities between health outcomes in urban and rural areas. We need to work to increase access to high quality healthcare for all Californians.

Infrastructure - such as high speed internet - must be available in rural communities to ensure that schools, businesses and healthcare facilities have access to this critical tool.

Education must be funded at higher levels to insure that the resources are available to provide an education relevant to the needs and challenges of the 21st century.

We must systematically and methodically address climate change and invest more in protecting and restoring our natural resources.

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.

This Contest || Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: July 23, 2015 14:59 PDT
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.