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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Solano, Contra Costa, Sacramento Counties, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 11

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 Mike Hudson:

California needs to toughen up and balance the budget without hurting municipalities, public safety, or the economy.

Reduce business regulation, red tape, fees and requirements. Reward hard work, investment, job creation and business growth. Limit litigation on environmental reports, ADA, citizen suits. The state must stop driving businesses to other states.

A balanced budget amendment that limits borrowing, caps spending, and creates a true reserve fund. No great spending increases in the good years and a generous reserve in the bad years.
2. A 2-year budget cycle for the California's budget - California's budget is huge and very complex. For term-limited state legislators, they have a very short time to become competent on budget issues.
3. California's tax base is particularly susceptible to the boom and bust cycle. In the good times sales tax, property tax, and capital gains tax revenues soar. In the bad times these revenues quickly disappear. The time between good times and bad times can be very short. A healthy, well-funded reserve will provide balance and stability.
4. Sales tax apportionment needs to be considered and reformed. With the current way California apportions sales tax, municipalities are pitted against one another for sales tax revenue.
5. Reform redevelopment

Voter approval for new districts.
Redevelopment needs to have performance metrics.
Redevelopment monies need to be tied to projects that promote the local economy.
6. Stop raiding, back filling, borrowing, and stealing from municipalities, local governments, special districts, and county government.
7. Redevelopment is good for California's tax base; the State of California should be enhancing redevelopment. It is good for the state, the school districts and municipalities.

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

Answer from Mike Hudson:

Reduce or eliminate new corporation filing and other fees; corporations can file in any state of the union. By being one of the most expensive, we are losing more money than we are making with high fees. Simplify and automate business filing paperwork. Reduce the paperwork burden on small business and Disabled Veteran businesses.

Make regulatory and regional boards act in a timely manner and make them accountable for delays and costs. Create clear road maps for project approvals instead of the alphabet soup of approvals that new projects must struggle through. Combine board approval processes on projects. Work in concert with federal and regional approval boards, which often have overlapping and redundant functions and concerns. Allow a project to move forward with several agencies concurrently instead of the serial approach to regulatory hearings.

Pension reform - No pension spiking, no retro pay increases, honest accounting from CalPERS (7.5% ROR), average actuarial value over 3 years, not 15 to 17. Average salaries for retirees over 3 years. Split unfunded liabilities with employees; two tiers for new hires.

? 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 Mike Hudson:

CSU, UC, and community colleges must compete with other colleges. Focus on academics, not social policy. Colleges are not jobs programs. Focus on producing grads in demand. Set higher standards and better service delivery to produce quality grads. Get teachers back into the classroom, keep students in the classroom, and keep the state out of the classroom.

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

Answer from Mike Hudson:

The Delta is the most productive farmland in the State of California. Water storage and conveyance is also a hotly contested issue in this district. We are ground zero for California's water problems. The Delta and California's water supply is one earthquake away from an epic disaster. Many of the Delta's levies are in dire need of being rebuilt. Worse, is the lack of storage capacity in the Delta water system. Salt-water intrusion and lost farmlands are also major concerns for the Delta. California needs more water, more water storage, more water sources, and more water ideas.

Term limits shifted expertise and influence to staff and lobbyists. Labor leaders have an unhealthy amount of influence because of political contributions. Public employee union leadership stifles innovation and efficiency.

Support redevelopment of cities. Promote strong cities and Main Street efforts. Develop new jobs by supporting redevelopment and economic revitalization.

California needs to get back to work. Unemployment and under-employment are hurting our state's economy. This is one of the major forces in the foreclosure crisis. This also hurts the number one driver in the economy, the consumer. We need to create an economy that rewards job creators, that encourages small business.

Budget shortfalls have caused public safety to suffer. The early release of prisoners and the realignment of state prisoners to county jails puts California families at risk. Stockton will break their record for homicides in 2011. The state has taken money from municipalities and that has hurt public safety. Fewer police, diversion programs cut, and people in dire need have created a climate that allows crime to flourish. Even when the criminals are caught, we have to choose the worst of the worst because prison space is very limited.

For many reasons, California has not built infrastructure to keep pace with growth. It is already hard enough to build anything in California; highway construction is no exception. Projects take too long, are brought to a virtual standstill by environmental studies, and are mired in multi-level bureaucratic agencies. Worse, developers that are busy building new communities are not paying for the needed infrastructure to support their communities.

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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