Climate changes and the continuing drought worry many in California. What new strategies do you believe would ensure that California is able to both satisfy its water needs and protect the environment? Please be specific.
Local strategies for rain water storage, groundwater management, water recycling, conservation and, on the coast, desalinization powered by renewable energy resources, such as harnessing ocean wave energy, should be encouraged and supported by the state.
What are your top three fiscal priorities, recognizing the need to balance the state’s income with its spending?
It's not just balancing the state's income and spending but, as Governor Brown has championed, creating sufficient savings to offset dramatic declines in revenues during recessions. As Governor Brown has reported, the next recession could leave the state $50 billion in the hole. In order to maintian public services during times that are the most difficult for the state's citizens, we need to put away money now for the next inevitable recession.
The preservation of our crumbling roads and infrastructure are estimated to be underfunded by $135 billion over the next 10 years. Some of the monies traditionally used for roads have been diverted to pay for transportion bonds the voters understood would be repaid from the General Fund. The first thing to do is stop raiding $1 billion in commercial truck weight fees from the State Highway Account and find the money to pay for the bonds from the general fund by using surplus tax revenue and reducing other state expenditures. But that will only reduce the need by $10 billion in the next 10 years leaving us $125 billion short, or $12.5 billion a year. To put that in a more individual perspective last year's gasoline sales were aproximately 13.6 billion gallons making the shortfall $0.88 per gallon of gas sold. The question is, are our citizens willing to pay to protect our investment in our transportion system?
Education is the back bone of our civilization. Education isn't a guarantee for success in life, but it is almost a certainty that life with an education will be better than without. It benefits not only the individual, but reduces crime and unintended pregnancies, while the individual's increased productivity leads to higher tax revenues. Education is truly a win-win for all. Our children's educational attainment must be one of the most important goals of government.
There are a variety of proposals to raise California's minimum wage. Many of these proposals face opposition from business groups who are concerned that they would kill jobs. Do you support increasing the minimum wage in California? In your answer please explain your position on the relationship between wages and jobs with specific reference to the situation in your district.
A new minimum wage law has already been passed. We should pay close attention for any unintended consequences.
Many Californians are concerned about the influence of money in politics. What can the state legislature do to ensure that decision-making by elected officials is not swayed by moneyed interests at the expense of constituents?
As a candidate not affiliated with any political party, and without the financial support of any special interests, the best thing to do is to elect me.
Moneyed interests most often claim their interests are aligned with the state's, or at least regions of the state. All of them obtained their wealth by providing goods and services consumed by citizens, and sustain employment, but they shouldn't be allowed to impose financial or enviromental burdens on our state just for the sake of their interests. I understand that the job of Assemblyman will require decisions that provide the greatest good with the least cost to our state and it's citizens.