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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz Counties, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
State Senator; District 15

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 Jim Fitzgerald:

Before we even consider collecting more revenues, we should first look at California's expenditures. We need to be open to changes in our state budget spending. We need to think of out of the box solutions. Some of the following ideas could be considered: Sunset dates for all spending bills; Incentives for government departments not spending the entire budget allotted to them; Consolidation of departments; Review of cost cutting for all government departments; Reduce travel costs by utilizing teleconferencing; Consider 4-day work week schedules; Use of only public transportation. These are only a few ideas. If we are really serious about balancing the budget, I know that California can do it. We just need to be realistic and work together. I would also like to see an adjustment in the tax structure of the state of California. What about a consumption tax? What about a tax on luxury items? These ideas should be examined. One thing that we know for sure is that those people who have more to spend on luxury items, have more to pay in taxes.

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

Answer from Jim Fitzgerald:

Remember, money spent on education is an investment. Let's not let anyone reduce the investment in our future. The children are the future of California. Their education plays the most important role in developing their ability to excel in creativity and entrepreneurship, and as leaders in the workplace. A well-educated student will be able to perform the jobs of the 21st century. Educating the students of our state to be productive members of our community is my #1 concern. We need teachers who can inspire and motivate the students. Tools and supplies need to be made available to those teachers. Classroom sizes must be kept at a manageable level.

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

Answer from Jim Fitzgerald:

Due to climate change and a growing population, the lack of fresh water is an increasing problem for area residents throughout the State. This shortage is threatening to drive up the cost of water to our residents. One possible solution to the rising prices would be to increase the supply of fresh water. I would like to see if it is feasible for the State of California to fund the construction of a desalination plant in our district. There are over 15,000 such plants worldwide and the cost to build and operate them is slowly decreasing. The plant would produce fresh water to be used to fill lakes, reservoirs and increase the level of the underground aquifers.

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

Answer from Jim Fitzgerald:

Basic healthcare is a necessity for protecting the health of our communities. For instance, investing in the basic healthcare of our citizens will help to prevent the spread of communicable diseases like tuberculosis. Also, if a person gets a minor ailment, but it is left untreated, it could grow into a major health problem. This will cost Californians far more than it would have if treated initially. If we reduce healthcare spending by 10%, undoubtedly many facilities will be closed. Your wait in emergency rooms may increase by hours and the ER personnel will be forced to prioritize at your expense. We need to keep facilities open to manage the health of our population. Keeping the healthcare system adequately funded is an investment in the health of every citizen of our state.

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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