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|League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Christopher Richard "Chris" Larkin
Read the answers from all candidates.
1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?
We need to find and eliminate any over spending and redundancy and balance the budget. We must look to where the mandated money is being spent and be certain we are reciving the best delivery of services for our tax dollars. During times of financial uncertainty, when cuts are to be made, we need to be fair and equal in the execution of those cuts so that not any one program suffer greater than any other. After that we can then look to untapped resources of revenue that can bring new money to the budget without having to raise taxes.
2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?
Unfunded federal mandates and endless bureaucratic regulations have effectively handcuffed our teachers and school districts, and decrease the effectiveness of our school system. I want to take an active role on the Committee for Education so that I would be able to apply some common sense, identify the waste and seek real solutions for our educational system. We must keep class sizes small, bring qualified aides back to the classroom, and provide our teachers with the proper materials to teach so that our children get the best education that we can give them. Furthermore, I would propose tax incentives for volunteering at school as a cost effective way to help return sporting and after school programs that have fallen to budgetary cuts. These programs have proven time and again that they keep our children active, safe and help build character. I feel that there must also be stricter screening processes for the volunteers at our schools to ensure the safety of our children.
3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?
We should work to create better communication between nieghboring counties in regards to water aquisition and distribution. The water consumption needs of existing communities must be put ahead of the water needs for new development.
4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?
The sad reality is that millions of Californians wake up everyday without access to basic healthcare services. Expectant mothers are without access to basic prenatal care, seniors are forced to decide between expensive prescription medication and basic household needs, and our hard working families are facing ever increasing co-pays and insurance costs. I will lead a bi-partisan partnership in the legislature that will put the needs of Californians above the needs of special interests and insurance companies. We could then be able to address health issues at their earliest stage. There should be more emphasis placed on health education and prevention to help reduce long term health care costs. A healthy society is more productive and less apt to prolonged illnesses that ends up costing more to the taxpayer in terms of indigent hospitalization from preventable conditions.
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