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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Yolo, Napa, Sonoma, Lake, Solano, Colusa Counties, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Smart Voter

Bill Dodd
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Member of the State Assembly; District 4


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

In my 30 years of owning a successfuly business, I know what it feels like to be an employer, to meet a payroll, and realize the importance of fiscal prudence in order to achieve economic success.

During my 14 years as a Napa County Supervisor, I lead a number of efforts to ensure the county's economic success during the worst economy since the Great Depression, including (1) living within our means and having a balanced budget all 14 years, (2) moving from a Double A credit rating to Triple A rating during the recession, and (3) bringing significant outside funding to the county.

We did this by working together: business, labor, local, state and federal governments. The State of California needs more of this fiscal accountability and I can deliver it.

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?

California's water challenges go back to the founding of the state. It's imperative that all state legislators, from north and south, from urban and rural areas, sit down together and plan for our current and future needs. I will look for a long-term blueprint that ensures a sustainable water supply that is sensitive to our environment, supports agriculture and is in the best interests of all Californians, not focused mainly on Southern California. Specifically, that means a plan that would not adversely impact the Delta.

Strict adherence to water conservation must apply to residents of all parts of the state. We need to build water storage capacity while also providing incentives for agriculture to conserve. I oppose the Twin Tunnels plan due to its significant costs without the benefits of added water supply, storage and environmental protections for the Delta.

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?

Education is the great equalizer that gives individuals from all backgrounds the opportunity to succeed. In the past California provided its citizens a public education that was the envy of the world. Sadly, today there is plenty of room for improvement and I am committed to returning our education system to one California children deserve.

The state has taken steps in the right direction with the passage of Proposition 30 and Governor Brown's Local Control Funding Formula, which stabilizes state finances and provides local school districts with greater discretion to spend funds. I will fight to ensure that our schools are not only adequately funded but that the dollars are used in an efficient and effective method.

Two areas where I am particularly interested in seeing progress are STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs and career technical education. These areas, important for all students, are critical to fulfilling the workforce needs of our high-tech industries and the creation of good-paying middle class jobs.

We must look to make investment in higher education systems produce more. Students today are asked to do more with less, and we should expect the same shared sacrifice from faculty and school administration. Students (and their parents) at community colleges, CSU and UC have seen tuition skyrocket over the last decade. Families need a time-out from rising cost pressures, so I support a five-year tuition freeze and am committed to finding long-term funding solutions to prevent further drastic tuition increases.

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

I believe our senior citizen population deserves from attention from the Legislature. Today, seniors are 20% of California's population, and this figure will double to 40% in the next 20 years. In a perfect world, the state would have the capacity to serve our seniors with fluid access to the variety of services necessary to maintain independence and live in the least restrictive environment possible. During this time of economic crisis, however, services for seniors have been cut to the bone and economies of scale have been overlooked.

For example, it is less expensive to maintain a healthy life in one's home, yet services provided by In Home Supportive Services have been slashed. Seniors deserve choice and I will work to restore services at all levels of care + independence, home health care, residential communities, skilled nursing facilities, hospitalization, and long term care with an emphasis on keeping seniors as close to their social support systems as possible.

Elder abuse is another issue of major concern. Following in the footsteps of Napa County, which has the only licensing requirements for caregivers, the state of California should enact similar protections that include background checks for every care worker who provides services.

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: September 25, 2014 10:18
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