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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Los Angeles, Ventura County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 41

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Budget Choices, Budget Process, Higher Education, Major Issues and Priorities

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

? 1. How will you prioritize the budget choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending, and address the need for fair revenue sources that are sufficient for state and local government services?

Answer from Linda Piera-Ávila:

We cannot balance the budget on the backs of the poor and vulnerable. Vital services like education and in home support services must be retained. The challenge is to find ways to pay for these. We can increase state revenue in several of the following ways:
1.Close corporate tax loopholes so all pay their fair share of taxes.
2. Create an oil severance tax.
3. Amend prop 13 so that commercial properties are taxed in the same way as residential properties.
4. Legalize and tax marijuana. Further, a democratically founded constitutional convention can renew and streamline the way our state operates and result in improved revenue sharing between the state and local governments.

Answer from Terry Rathbun:

EVERY state government department will need to take a small spending cut. If the people of California are asked to sacrifice by paying a small tax increase, then California's state government owes it to them to sacrifice by taking the spending cuts.

? 2. What proposals, if any, do you support to fix the budget process? What other types of changes or reforms, if any, do you think are important to make our state government function more effectively?

Answer from Linda Piera-Ávila:

1. Eliminate the 2/3 majority required to pass a state budget.
2. Eliminate the 2/3 majority required to raise taxes.
3. Institute public financing of candidate campaigns so that elected leaders are not beholden to corporate interests who made campaign contributions when the time comes to deliberate on the state budget.
4. Enact proportional representation instead of single seat districts so that a wider cross section of constituencies is represented in the legislature, including during budget deliberations.
5. Enact ranked, instant runoff voting which will result in candidates being elected with a majority and will save the state money by eliminating costly runoff elections.

Answer from Terry Rathbun:

Eliminate the 3/4's majority for the budget. Create a 2 year budget and no unfunded liabilities unless they are for emergency legislation

? 3. Many members of the Legislature say that education is a high priority for the state. Yet fees for public higher education have gone up dramatically and funding has been cut. What is your vision for California’s higher education future, and how do you propose to get there?

Answer from Linda Piera-Ávila:

Not adequately educating our state's residents is like a ticking time bomb. We can institute a state bank to invest in our students and institutions of higher learning. Our colleges and universities need to focus on research and development of renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, with local economic control, so that our state may once again be at the forefront of cutting edge technology. Amending the "three strikes" law to apply to violent felons only will also free up state funds that can then be put to better use in education. This will reflect a shift in our priorities away from incarceration and toward education.

Answer from Terry Rathbun:

We can achieve educational success by decentralizing a lot of the power from the educator's unions and empowering the teachers at the district and local school levels.

? 4. What other major issues do you think the Legislature must address in 2011? What are your priorities?

Answer from Linda Piera-Ávila:

1. Enact and defend AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, and SB 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act. We have no more decades left to reverse the life threatening disasters of global warming.
2. Enact a bioregional approach to water allocation and conservation. Oppose attempts to privatize water resources.
3. Create a task force to offer solutions to halt the growing crime of human trafficking in our state.
4. Continue to press for passage of single payer health care.
5. Keep our state parks open and accessible to all; protect and preserve our remaining old growth forests, open spaces and wildlife habitats.
6. Promote organic, urban and community farms, community supported agriculture and food co-ops.

Answer from Terry Rathbun:

Unemployment. California has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and small businesses to other states business "magnets". The California state legislature needs to start creating magnets of our own to bring the jobs and businesses back to California. These magnets include tax breaks and a scaling back of the onerous environmental laws that hamper and drive business out of the state.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' responses are not edited or corrected by the League. No candidate may refer to another candidate in the response.

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: January 6, 2011 15:01 PST
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