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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda, Santa Clara County, CA November 4, 2008 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 and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Budget Crisis, Education, Water, Health Insurance

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

? 1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?

Answer from Jeffrey Wald:

In the coming years if we continue to allow the growth of state government to grow faster than the rate of inflation and population growth, our cities and counties will face additional cutbacks in services if the state continues to fund the state budget by taking money intended for cities and local development projects. In order to fund vital services such as police and fire protection, cities are asking their residents and voters to approve additional fees and parcel taxes that place a greater tax burden on residents. Local control of our tax dollars needs to be restored so our communities can provide local decision making about how to fund the essential services they deserve.

? 2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?

Answer from Jeffrey Wald:

The first priority of our schools should be to teach students the basics. I consider these things to be the four R's (Reading, wRiting, aRithmatic, and Reasoning. In our increasingly technology based society, California students are all falling behind their peers in other states and other countries because we're concentrating on teaching to tests rather than teaching to give students the base of knowledge they need to be able to compete in today's economy. According to the Core Purpose of the California Department of Education, "The Core Purpose of the California Department of Education is to lead and support the continuous improvement of student achievement, with a specific focus on closing achievement gaps."

Many people have said we have lost our way because the efforts of our education system focus on getting test results rather than providing our students the information and skills they need to compete in society. We can turn this around giving parents and local school districts more control over decisions. Parents should have greater choice in choosing schooling for their children, including charter schools and home schooling. Federal and state regulations should be reduced and un-needed programs identified and cut. Give school districts flexibility to choose programs that benefit their local students rather than have mandates dictated by Sacramento.

Community colleges provide valuable, affordable education and training for students entering college for the first time and offer programs such as technical education for adults changing careers. In this age of life-long learning, community colleges should focus on cost effective training for students planning to transfer to the University of California, State University and other institutions of higher learning. Community colleges should also focus on providing the same cost effective training programs for those looking for careers in the trades.

? 3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?

Answer from Jeffrey Wald:

To meet the state's growing population we need to invest in expanding and improving our reservoirs, levees and water delivery systems. Over the past few years we have passed several water bonds. We should continue to use this money to maintain and repair levees in the Sacramento River delta. Some of these levees are in poor conditions and if breeched could cause floods like we saw in New Orleans. It is vital that we maintain and improve our water delivery systems so that we can maintain our leadership in agriculture, provide safe water for our residents and protect our environment.

? 4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?

Answer from Jeffrey Wald:

Market based solutions should be encouraged. Proposals such as mandates requiring all Californians have insurance as well as single payer plans such as those outlined in SB840 will create a new bureaucracy to regulate this state run monopoly and would have created another unfunded mandate to local government. The Governor was right in rejecting this bill as he said in his veto message, "the bill is estimated to cost $210 billion in its first full year of implementation and cause annual shortfalls of $42 billion."

Small business, groups and associations should be allowed to pool their resources so that they can buy insurance for their employees and members. We should allow insurance to be purchased across state lines. To ease the burden on our hospital emergency rooms, the development of urgent care clinics should be encouraged.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

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 24, 2009 10:43 PST
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