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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Los Angeles County, CA November 6, 2012 Election
Smart Voter

Richard Bloom
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Member of the State Assembly; District 50


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. How will you prioritize the budget choices the Legislature must make to align the state’s income and spending?

The already dire revenue predicted for the State budget appears to be falling short by about $3 billion. Even with the successful passage of one or both revenue measures being circulated for signature, setting priorities for scarce resources is going to be difficult, but critical.

Education: An educated and prepared workforce ready for the market needs of today, including the new and expanding tech jobs, is essential for the future of our children and is critical for economic development. Therefore, education, K + 12 and higher education are a top priority.

Environment: Residents of the 50th Assembly District are in consensus on the need to continue to improve California's precious environment. As we have successfully shown in Santa Monica, a "green" California is good for our personal health and the health of our economy. Likewise, a successful economy is essential to the funding of green initiatives.

Essential services for seniors and the disabled: Our safety net is already frayed, or worse, after years of cuts. Care must be taken to preserve our most essential programs.

Tax and Pension fixes: Studies have shown that compliance increases when taxes are perceived as equitable. A revised tax policy that puts a premium on simplification and fairness is long overdue. Pension payments by state and local governments are not aligned with revenue and corrective action must be taken.

Economic Development: My local government experience demonstrates that improving the climate for businesses of all sizes increases the tax base and revenue. It is an ominous that many growing local businesses with "green jobs" are planning to move out of state.

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

I intend to focus on working with others to reform the budget process to a pay-as-you-go budgeting, a two-year budget and reform taxes to ensure fairness and increased compliance. It is long past the time for our state government to stop balancing itself on the backs of our schools and local governments.

Government transparency is an essential feature of good government. Public confidence in our State legislature is at an all-time low and will not return without full transparency.

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?

My two sons recently graduated from college, so my family has personally experienced the challenging cost of higher education as well as the difficulty in graduating due to the lack of classes.

California's tradition of excellent public institutions of higher learning is under threat, largely due to state cutbacks of between 25 - 30% over the past few years. Fixing the problem is a priority.

While I wish it were not so, if we are to continue to educate as many young Californians as we have in the past, we are going to need creative solutions, including admitting more non-Californians + who pay higher tuition. The two-tier system proposed for summer sessions at Santa Monica College is draconian, but is laudable in its intention to maximize the number of students who can attend at lower rates.

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

The greatest challenge we face is putting California on a fair, responsible and sustainable fiscal path, and getting people back to work. As Mayor of Santa Monica, I have proven that when people work together we can accomplish great things while enhancing our economy. The environment, education and providing a social services safety net have been my priorities in Santa Monica and will be so in Sacramento.

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.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: July 10, 2012 17:34
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