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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
State of California (Sonoma, Marin, Humboldt, Mendocino, Lake, Del Norte, Trinity Counties) November 4, 2014 Election
Smart Voter

Lawrence R. Wiesner
Answers Questions

Candidate for
State Senator; District 2


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 would you prioritize the fiscal choices the Legislature must make to align the states income and spending?

I believe the single most important tool for addressing budget deficits is to imitate our neighbors in Colorado and pass a Taxpayer Bill of Rights that will rigorously limit government spending to a defined percentage of actual revenues. The Gann Initiative sought to do this very thing, and it did, until the special interests gutted it. It's time to recover this vital lost ground. Let's set up a rainy day fund; scale back the size of state bureaucracies; bring salaries of state employees into line with those of the private sector; reduce extravagant health and pension benefits; set limits on the extension of unemployment benefits; eliminate useless boards, commissions and departments; repeal spending mandates; eliminate waste and extravagance from worthy programs.

2. Given our current drought condition, concern for water rights and usage is an important issue. What solutions would you support to address our water problems?

We have fallen way behind population needs for water storage facilities in California. We need to seriously consider the construction of new dams, for example the Auburn Dam.

3. California high school students rank lower than many states in student performance. What do you see as the ongoing role of the Legislature in addressing this problem?

The primary responsibility for the education of children lies with their parents. Accordingly, schools exist to serve parents, and should be directly accountable to them. Beneath the light of this common sense principle it is easy to see where California has gone awry. The public school system has fallen into the hands, not of parents and local teachers and administrators, but of federal regulators, state legislators, teachers' unions, and a massive educational bureaucracy that is riddled with waste and special interest pandering. The results are not pretty. Local school districts are no longer free to work with parents to hire and fire teachers, determine salaries, choose textbooks, work up curricula, and address problems as they arise. Instead, they groan under burdensome collective bargaining agreements, crippling regulations, and costly, time-consuming mandates handed down from legislators and bureaucrats.

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

California suffers from higher unemployment than the nation as a whole. We need to become more business friendly in order to retain an expand employment opportunities for our citizens. I would do this by: reducing taxes; reducing burdensome regulations; reducing unnecessary litigation; and placing a fresh emphasis on public works.

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 16, 2014 10:39
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