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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 76

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 Sherry Hodges:

Politicians have been reckless with our state budget for too long. California is facing a $16 Billion dollar deficit. Our parks and infrastructure are falling apart, and our school classrooms are seeing cut after cut. It's time to stop playing politics and get to work to fix our budget.

Irresponsible spending has caused California to come to this state of disrepair. Raising taxes is not the answer. Stopping these spending habits is the first step toward fiscal recovery. Secondly, our state regulations need to be reformed. Rethinking the way we do business will create an environment that helps create jobs; and when Californians are back to work, our economy flourishes.

Democrats, Republicans, and Independents agree - we need to get California working again. I will work with ALL legislators to find common ground on these and other taxpayer priorities to get our state back on track.

Answer from Rocky J. Chavez:

My number one priority for the State Budget is education. I know there are other demands for the budget but I feel we need to first look at expenses of government and align our limited resources to priorities. I have experience, having been an Undersecretary of a Department, to know that there are savings to be had when we look at expenses.

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

Answer from Sherry Hodges:

Recently, Forbes graded every state for overall small business friendliness. California's grade? F.

Bureaucratic red tape, job-crushing regulations and burdensome taxes are roadblocks to not only a business-friendly environment, but to our economic vitality as a state. Regulatory obstacles reduce opportunities for job creation and growth. When there are no jobs, our economy struggles, and we quickly see neighborhood services fall apart. By reducing departments in size and scope, or consolidating departments, we can eliminate duplication of duties and improve efficiency. When government is more efficient, our parks, infrastructure, and education system see a direct impact, and Californians are better served.

Answer from Rocky J. Chavez:

The most important change we can make in state government is how the budget process is determined. As of now, the Legislative bodies are more focused on bills and not focused on setting priorities and working on the budget. I would support a two year budget. As stated above, my priority is to fix education as the current funding cycle always puts school districts at a disadvantage in having to make financial decisions (hiring teachers/buying supplies/upgrade of needed facilities) before a budget is passed. With a two year budget we can have more stability in education.

? 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 Sherry Hodges:

Having raised four children in California schools and as a former member of the San Dieguito Union High School Board, education has always been a passion of mine. Education must be one of our state's top priorities.

It seems ever year our education budget is threatened. It's time politicians stop playing games and understand the importance of a strong school system to the future of our society. Our education system is one of the lowest ranked in the country. That is absolutely unacceptable.

Cutting funding and raising tuition severly damages the system and prices out students who are eager to attend. Both sides of the aisle must work together to find reforms that save money and make responsible cuts in other areas of the budget to ensure our education system isn't further affected.

Answer from Rocky J. Chavez:

Fees are too high. We need to invest in our citizens so that they can be competitive in a world market. It is an investment in our future and people when we support education.

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

Answer from Rocky J. Chavez:

My other priorities are jobs and Veterans. We need to make sure California welcomes small businesses and ensures we have the infrastructure to grow business (ports, roads, water). Veterans have given their lives for our freedom, they need to be allowed to enjoy the American dream for which they have fought and wanted when they returned to California.

Answer from Sherry Hodges:

There is a lot of work to be done, but one issue that is commonly overlooked, but affects our daily lives, is infrastructure - particularly transportation and water.

Californians have more cars per capita than any other state in the U.S. Our freeways are constantly congested and we're spending more and more time in traffic, which means less and less time with our families and friends. In the 76th Assembly District, the 78 Freeway/I-5 interchange is long overdue for improvements. We need to look at the money collected from our region in gasoline tax and appropriately re-invest it in our roads and highways.

As a state that has regularly been subject to droughts, clean and reliable water availability is an issue that our state has failed to fully address. We need to look at options such as recycled water for irrigation, desalinisation plants, and other innovative solutions that will help meet our growing needs.

I'm going to Sacramento to represent the 76th Assembly District, and part of that is making sure my priorities are in line with my constituents' priorities. I pledge to regularly meet with residents and will always be eager to get feedback and recommendations on current issues and priorities for the district.

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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