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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Santa Clara, Alameda County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 25

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 Budget, Government reform, Higher education, Major issues

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?

Answer from Arlyne M "ArLyne" Diamond, Ph.D.:

Although very difficult, this is not an impossible task if there is cooperation on both sides of the aisle. Wanting to fix it is the first requirement for fixing it. Spending can be reduced by streamlining systems, reducing redundancy in agencies and operations, and being more aware of fraud. We need to help those who truly need our help, and stop helping those who can and should be helping themselves.

Answer from Bob Wieckowski:

It is not wise to rely solely on the idea that we will have the Democrats will have a 2/3 majority in the Assembly and Senate to raise revenues through taxes next year; we have to take the initiative in job creation so that we increase our tax base, restoring revenue, allowing us to fund the programs that the state lost during the recession.

California has several competitive advantages that have positioned us at the forefront of several industries:

  • Fertile land and a great natural climate + perfect for agriculture and tourism
  • An abundance of venture capitalism
  • A strong manufacturing base + No. 1 in the nation in the number of manufacturing industry jobs at U.S. subsidiaries.
  • California ranks No. 1 in the nation in patents issued in 2010, far outpacing all other states.
  • The University of California ranks No. 1 in technology transfer and commercialization of all U.S. universities. CalTech and Stanford are also Top 10.
  • California leads the nation in job growth.

Investing in Emerging Technologies. While the average national job growth is at a staggering 0.8%, job growth in the clean technology industry is 8%. I authored AB 1314, which streamlines the Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, overseen by the California Energy Commission, to get people to work more quickly on building car parts, fuelling stations and other clean fuel and clean vehicle projects. This was signed by Governor Brown in October of 2011.

Giving Businesses the Confidence to Create Jobs. Due to the climate of economic uncertainty, small businesses have to be given incentive to hire new employees.

AB 218, the Job Retention and Economic Recovery Act, would have improved the state's competitiveness by asking voters to eliminate the tax on manufacturing equipment to help generate job growth in the manufacturing sector, which pays employees an average of $25,000 more per year than service-sector jobs.

I have also authored legislation this year that would boost the state's struggling economy by expanding a 2009 hiring tax credit to Small, Micro, Disabled Veteran, and Disadvantaged businesses.

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

Answer from Bob Wieckowski:

The Legislature should be able to balance the state budget with a simple majority. We are only one of three states that do not allow 50%-plus-one of its legislative body to raise revenues to balance the budget.

It is also imperative to streamline uneccesary regulations that burden business growth. I authored legislation signed by the governor that would streamline some redundant regulations that prevented clean energy projects from being approved on a timely manner. Removing such barriers helps create jobs made in California.

Answer from Arlyne M "ArLyne" Diamond, Ph.D.:

Government's proper function is to serve and protect the people, not to dictate how they live their lives on a daily basis. In our zeal to be helpful, we have over-regulated individuals as well as businesses. We need to "back off" and reduce the amount of rules we make.

? 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?

Answer from Arlyne M "ArLyne" Diamond, Ph.D.:

This is an important concern, especially since California has been noted for providing the very best in higher education. We need to make more careful decisions as to where the tax dollars are spent, the ratio of in-state and out-of-state students, and how we can best use the balance of Professors and Technology to provide the very best education at the lowest reasonable price.

Answer from Bob Wieckowski:

In order to be competitive in a global economy, we must have a prepared and well-trained labor force. It is important that we re-invest in our world-class colleges and universities so that we maintain our state and country's global leadership in not only manufacturing, but in the creation and maintenance of a world-class workforce.

I am a proud co-sponsor of the The Middle Class Scholarship Act. This would make college more affordable for working families by reducing student fees by 2/3. The Middle Class Scholarship Act will be paid for entirely by closing a wasteful out-of-state corporate loophole. This is a win-win opportunity for middle class families and California's future economy.

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

Answer from Bob Wieckowski:

When I decided to run for Assembly in 2010, I promised that I would continue the good work that my council colleagues began on the city council; this time, I wanted to bring that work to the state-level. I helped secure over $200 million for local projects including a BART extension. I also secured millions of dollars to create new parks and recreational opportunities for families, establish after school programs for kids, and hire and retain more public safety employees. When other cities were declaring bankruptcy, furloughing or laying off city staff, I worked with my colleagues to create 8 new police officer and 10 new firefighter positions. And during the economic downturn, Bob fought to maintain Fremont's sworn peace officer and firefighter levels, brokering fair budget deals between the city and its employees and ensuring that not one cop or firefighter was taken off the job.

As someone who has had experience with balancing budgets and fiscal policy, I helped small businesses keep their doors open, and has enabled hundreds of families to keep their homes during this financial crisis.

In the State Assembly, I have had a successful record on promoting job creation, investment in emerging clean technologies, protecting consumers and working families, and holding corporations accountable.

I am proud that, in my first year in the Assembly, Governor Brown has signed 8 of my 9 bills that made it to his desk. The success can be attributed to my collaborative style; reaching out to my Republican colleagues and meeting with opposition to my bills. This goes a long way in the legislative process. It is not an easy job, but I hope to continue to serve my constituents and uphold Democratic and Progressive values in the state Assembly.

Answer from Arlyne M "ArLyne" Diamond, Ph.D.:

1: Bringing Jobs back to California - by becoming more business friendly and reducing unnecessary regulations. 2: Improving K-12 education 3: Streamlining and reducing duplication in agencies and the processes they use.

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: December 17, 2012 13:48 PST
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