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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Santa Clara County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 28

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 Chad Walsh:

In Silicon Valley, we understand the inherent connection between a strong business environment and a world-class education system.

However, over the last several years, the strength of our education system has been eroded by falling State revenues and escalating costs.

On the revenue side, California suffers from double-digit unemployment and companies are leaving the State.

To increase State revenues to fund education and other public services, we must be committed to working collaboratively with the businss community to create jobs and reduce unemployment. Personal Income Tax and Sales Tax are significant revenue components of the State General Fund. As unemployment goes down, State revenue from Personal Income Tax and Sales Tax will increase, thereby increasing the available funds for education.

In Silicon Valley, we know how to create value and jobs and we must spread the best practices of our region across the State - especially into Sacramento.

But revenue is only half of the equation. California has a crisis in costs. The Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research (SIEPR) has estimated that the State's pension system is underfunded by over $300 billion dollars. As the State moves closer to insolvency with each passing year, more and more money will be drawn away from education and other public services to pay for the unfunded pension debt.

Therefore, the pension crisis is not only a financial crisis, it is an educational and social crisis as well. We need elected leaders who have the courage to make the tough choices required to reform California's pension systems.

This election offers a crystal clear distinction between the candidates.
- I am an experienced entrepreneur and business owner, and I support the business community and job creation.
- I support Pension Reform efforts such as the efforts of Mayor Reed and the San Jose City Council as well as Governor Brown's pension reform proposal.

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

Answer from Chad Walsh:

It is critical that we reform the State's $300 billion underfunded pension system - and soon. The longer we wait, the more damage that is done to our education system and other public services - and the problem will only get worse if left unaddressed.

California must also review the manner in which businesses are regulated. Legislators should be sensitive to the needs of business and work to ensure that regulations are reasonable, effective, and efficient to comply with. Regulations that do not meet stated goals or objectives, or which are no longer necessary, should be eliminated. Compliance with reasonable regulations should be straightforward, clear, and achieveable in a reasonable period of time.

? 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 Chad Walsh:

I am a product of public k-12 schools, community college, and our world reknown UC system. Reducing costs and increasing access to higher education is a very high priority on my agenda.

The cost of education for students can be reduced by increasing the funds available for higher education from the State General Fund. Increasing funds from the State General Fund can be achieved by increasing State revenue or reducing costs (as described above). Over the long term, growing the economy and reducing costs is the most viable and sustainable approach to guaranteeing a world class education for our children and ensuring they have the skills they need to compete in a global economy.

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

Answer from Chad Walsh:

There is one overriding issue that impedes California's progress - divisive partisanship. California is facing double digit unemployment, an education system in crisis, and a pension debt that threatens to bankrupt the State.

The time has come to move beyond partisanship and work together - for the people - to solve these problems.

Noone in the State Legislature should be locked into partisan positions or ideology. All ideas should be on the table. Stakeholders and experts from across the State must be consulted. Goals must be set and achieved. Innovative ideas that will move us forward to solve these problems must be adobpted regardless of which party they came from.

Elected officials must remember who they represent - their neighbors who put them in office! Not special interests. Not party leaders.

The time has come for the California Legislature to work together collaboratively to solve problems for the people in the same way ordinary citizens do everyday in conference rooms and at kitchen tables across this great State.

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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