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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Riverside, San Diego County, CA November 2, 2010 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
State Senator; District 36

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of California and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Budget Choices, Budget Process, Higher Education, Major Issues and Priorities

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, and address the need for fair revenue sources that are sufficient for state and local government services?

Answer from Paul Clay:

First, the economy of the State of California cannot be salvaged by laying off hundreds of thousands of State workers and teachers. We must find alternate methods of cost-savings. For example, in education that would certainly include such measures as suspending purchases of new textbooks, at a potential savings of hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Second, we will need to assess fees for drilling oil in California. Other states, notably fiscally-conservative Texas, have long collected these fees.

? 2. What proposals, if any, do you support to fix the budget process? What other types of changes or reforms, if any, do you think are important to make our state government function more effectively?

Answer from Paul Clay:

I support Proposition 25; the existing requirement of a 2/3 margin for a budget virtually assures that budgets will not be adopted on time, costing the State tens of millions of dollars. Failure to pass a timely budget also impacts municipalities, school districts and water districts, causing ever greater turmoil in their budgetary process. Should we not attain the simple majority, I will join in with legislation that would accomplish the same thing. For the same reasons, I oppose Proposition 26. State government must also become more responsive to the needs of the ordinary citizen and business community. A state-wide 'best practices' solution must be found for every department of the government to assure that these needs are met. For instance, although the Department of Motor Vehicles has vastly improved in processing time, can it be improved upon, and can it be made more efficient? Further,

? 3. Many members of the Legislature say that education is a high priority for the state. Yet fees for public higher education have gone up dramatically and funding has been cut. What is your vision for California’s higher education future, and how do you propose to get there?

Answer from Paul Clay:

Fees for higher education are nothing more than taxes that are passed on to the people least-able to afford them, the working students. We need to look back to our past when, as an entire community, California decided that education of our young would be our greatest priority, that we would indeed make the sacrifices necessary to assure our children had a good chance to graduate from high school with a diploma and an education that would prepare them for the future, and that an affordable college education was available. Revenues from oil mining would go a long way to making this dream a reality. We also must think outside the box--instead of costly textbooks that range upward of $500 per student through high school, we should adopt a Kindle-like electronic book that would be a one-time cost of less than $150. We should steer our students away from the endless cycles of testing and concentrate more on real education strategies. We must hold our districts more accountable for waste and fraud in budgets and expenses. I am also a proponent of smaller schools and smaller classes as part of a three-tiered approach to school reform. I also promote safer schools and increased access to pre-school.

? 4. What other major issues do you think the Legislature must address in 2011? What are your priorities?

Answer from Paul Clay:

Healthcare will be an even more pressing issue next year. I would like to explore ways that California could develop a healthcare system that would become a model for nationwide reform. The key to this is a system that centers on the primary physician, in conjunction with the patient, as the decision-makers in all health care matters, not some bureaucrat in an insurance agency headquarters nor some government official. This will take time to develop, but I believe it is feasible and necessary. Political campaign reform must become a priority--the State

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' responses are not edited or corrected by the League. No candidate may refer to another candidate in the response.

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: January 6, 2011 15:01 PST
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