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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 20

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 Jaime R Patino:

Taxing is not going to fix our problems. It will only chase people and jobs away to other states. We must create a simpler tax code in California. Let's keep the tax rate low for all and give no tax breaks to corporations. Education and Law Enforcement will be my priorities, but we must also tackle our debt and pension liabilities so that we do not leave our children and grandchildren with the bill to pay for our overspending. We cannot leave future generations with our debt.

Answer from Bill Quirk:

We must continue to balance the budget while paying off the wall of debt incurred in the years before I came to Sacramento. Instead of a budget deficit, we now have a deficit of services. As the recession ends and funds become available, we must be fiscally responsible that is why I support establishment of a rainy day fund. To the extent funds are available, education is my highest priority. As we have funds available, I would prioritize health care and services to keep seniors in their homes rather than going to senior care facilities.

? 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 Bill Quirk:

My colleagues in the State Assembly and I have worked to develop a water bond proposal for the November 2014 ballot. The bond includes funding for improving drinking water quality, protecting rivers and watersheds, improving the reliability of clean water delivery, protecting the state's Delta water system, and funding storage projects that will protect us from future droughts.

Answer from Jaime R Patino:

We need to change the way we use water in California. Not every yard needs lawn and people should not have a pool just because it is a status symbol. Golf courses in deserts make no sense. We need to do more with less. We cannot expect the farmers to take the hit while we only make modest changes to our lifestyles. Many farmers are only going to get 5% of their annual allotment. This means that they will not be able to grow their crops. This will lead to higher unemployment and higher grocery prices. Besides changing our lifestyle to address this drought, we must also save more of our water. If this means building more dams, then so be it. We should also use more temporary dams like the one used in Niles Canyon, just past Mission Blvd. All suggestions should be on the table.

? 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 Bill Quirk:

To face our unique challenges, we must invest more in all our schools. A quality K-12 education and higher education should be accessible to all children in our state. The legislature has agreed to invest even more in schools that have more students who are being raised in poverty and/or speak English as a second language.

Answer from Jaime R Patino:

The Legislature is too afraid to take on education reform because of the special interests that control them. Because of this, our kids suffer and they receive a mediocre education. We must make sure that the money we spend on education is being spent on programs that have a proven record of succeeding. If we have substandard teachers and administrators, we should make it easier to get rid of them. Parents also must be held accountable. They have more control over their kids education than anyone else and they should be made aware of their role and responsibility. We should make it easier for parents to move their kids from under-performing schools to better ones, whether they be public or private. It must also be made easier for charter schools to be approved in districts. We also must teach our students real skills that will be needed in this economy. We are in the Silicon Valley, so their skill set should reflect the skill set needed to succeed here. Too many of our students graduate without the basic skills needed to make a resume, do a decent interview and act accordingly in the workplace.

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

Answer from Bill Quirk:

During my 18 months in office, I have achieved the priorities I set in my first election campaign and will continue to do so: Increased funding for k-12 and higher education. Protected local funds for police and fire from state raids. Helped businesses by eliminating red tape.

Answer from Jaime R Patino:

We need to make it easier for businesses to do business in California. I don't want to hear about Tesla building its battery plant in another state only to ship them back to Fremont for assembly. I don't want to hear about Toyota moving its headquarters from Torrance to Houston when they have been in California since 1957. If more businesses come to California, expand and stay here, there will be more good jobs for all. As more people work and spend money, our tax base will expand. We will not need to tax more because the pool of businesses and people paying taxes will expand. This is something that the Legislature and Governor need to understand.

We must also amend AB109. This law let many criminals out of our prisons, only to commit more crimes in our communities. Although I understand that the courts ordered the Governor to release these people, he did not have to kick the problem down the road to the Cities and Counties to deal with. The state should have provided communities enough money to supervise, train and help these people so they would not re-offend. They did not do this. It costs about $45,000 to house an inmate in our prisons, yet they did not give this much money to the communities to deal with the influx of these people and the crimes they are committing. Many of these people have mental and substance abuse problems that must be addressed. Others are illiterate or need job skills to succeed. Then there are those that will never learn and we must make room for them. Either way, the state let our counties and cities take a great hit when they passed AB109. I will help change that.

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 23, 2015 14:59 PDT
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