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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 54

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 Keith Brandon McCowen:

Government must operate within its budget. Higher taxation is not the answer to fixing the budget ills. All non-essential spending must be eliminated. The key to improving our economy is to help develop private sector jobs and develop small businesses to generate revenue. California does not have a revenue problem; it has a spending problem. The Legislature must be more fiscally responsible for the sake of all Californians.

Answer from Holly J. Mitchell:

As Chair of the Assembly's Budget Subcommittee on Health & Human Services, I have successfully contributed to California's timely adoption of a balanced budget for the last 2 fiscal years. My demonstrated budget priorities are: funding essential services for California's most vulnerable populations, especially children, the poor, frail, elderly, struggling families and the disadvantaged; funding health care, social services, child care, and education; investing in job retention & creation, supporting California small businesses and encouraging green development.

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

Answer from Keith Brandon McCowen:

Excessive government regulation is crippling business growth, profits and innovation, which negatively impacts jobs. We must look at what really works in some regulatory agencies and eliminate others. Government must learn how to operate at a more efficient status and at the same time perform at a gold star level of customer service.

Answer from Holly J. Mitchell:

As the most populous and most innovative state in the U.S., California needs a balanced approach to budgeting, so that cuts for savings and efficiency are matched with new revenues to sustain our health care, essential social services, education, infrastructure and to invest in people and business while protecting our environment. New revenue sources are needed, as in progressive reforms such as Prop 30, and split-roll property taxes to differentiate tax rates for business property from personal homes.

? 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 Keith Brandon McCowen:

Billions of dollars have been redistributed to administrators and to special interest groups with no appreciable increase in student achievement. In order to get a handle on the high cost of higher education we must hold the administrators more accountable and restructure the system they use to vote themselves raises. Our educational system is off track and needs major restructuring. One way is to involve the private sector. I believe in apprenticeship training. Young people or anyone interested should have more choices either to go to college or to get their career under way by means of an earn while you learn/work program. We need more apprenticeship programs in the mid to high tech sectors to stimulate and assist industry in developing the skilled workers needed to compete in a global economy.

Answer from Holly J. Mitchell:

California has cut higher education resources and raised fees more than is desirable. We must do more and better to ensure access to the vocational instruction and collegiate credentials our population needs to remain competitive in the market place and well-informed in our civic lives and personal lives. Securing more revenue to reverse the trend toward down-sizing higher education is among my highest priorities.

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

Answer from Holly J. Mitchell:

Major issues and priorities to which I am committed for my second term include: Full implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act; a balanced budget including new revenues to ensure that affordable health care, essential social services, reliable child care and quality education are available to Californians who need them; reallocation of significant resources from warehousing prisoners for non-violent offenses to investment in effective rehabilitation and job opportunity; and protection of our natural resources.

Answer from Keith Brandon McCowen:

The Legislature must address its issues by simply getting back to the basics. The Legislators must abide by their oath of office and our state's constitution. Special interest groups must take a back seat for the greater good of all Californians.

My priorities to the people of California are to advocate for parental rights, protection of our children, protect prop 13, actively seek out businesses that will bring with them good paying jobs, and to make sure government does not infringe on our freedoms.

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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