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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
State of California (Butte, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sierra, Yuba Counties) November 2, 2004 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Member of the State Assembly; District 3

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 Crisis, Education, Water, Health Insurance

Click on a name for other candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

1. What does California need to do to address the current budget crisis?

Answer from Robert "Bob" Burk:

Fiscal responsibility is very important to me - just as we as individuals cannot outspend our income for very long and survive, the state cannot outspend income and survive. First, I would NOT raise taxes - if anything I would reduce and eliminate income taxes to encourage economic growth in this State. Next, all State agencies must be held accountable for their results - management by results actually gets results. If an agency is not getting results, then we need to find alternatives that get results. This may or may not be looking to free-market alternatives to State programs. As Stephen Goldsmith has written, "given the freedom to put their own ideas into action, (State workers) can be as innovative, effective, and cost-conscious as their private sector counterparts." And just like Gov. Schwarzenegger proposed in the recently released California Performance Review, we just need to take a tough look at what is working and what is not working today. Further, and this is more long term, I propose we look at the idea of sunset clauses attached to all legislation since this would have the effect of forcing periodic re-evaluation of State services.

Answer from Robert A. Woods:

California needs to pass Budget Accountability Prop. 56 to end yearly stalemate:

I tentatively favor adding 1/2 cents to state sales tax. I also would work balancing up Prop 13 for better equalization of Ad Valorem aspect.

2. What should the state's priorities be for K-12 education? For the Community College System?

Answer from Robert "Bob" Burk:

K-12 education is my number one priority. I will do everything in my power to improve the quality of education in California. The current system of revenue limits is outdated and is not working to deliver a consistent high-quality product. Parents do not have real choices and are forced in to accepting schools that are not meeting the needs of every student. Most teachers are doing the best they can, but their hands are tied because: A) funding is not getting to the classroom, B) state and federal regulations do not allow teachers to teach to the needs of their students, and C) the current system provides no real incentives to improve. During the next legislative session, my first priority would be to give parents real choices as to what educational program is best for their children.

Answer from Robert A. Woods:

I favor free public education from Pre-school through Grade 14 when financially feasible; only when above taxes are enacted; all measures on a pay-as-we-go basis.

3. What measures would you support to address California's water needs?

Answer from Robert A. Woods:

I need to review these matters from the standpoint of counties of origin which I would represent. As a related item, I favor strengthening levees in our Central Valley pay-as-we-go.

Answer from Robert "Bob" Burk:

We must be able to meet the current water needs of agriculture, residents, and business in California. It is the responsibilty of new developments to adequately plan for and fund new sources of water that are sufficient to meet the needs of the proposed project. Local and regional agencies can best assess the needs for this and other shared resources during the planning process.

4. What should the Legislature be doing to address the needs of Californians without health insurance?

Answer from Robert "Bob" Burk:

The Legislature needs to do everything it can to encourage economic growth in this state by reducing regulations that discourage business development. Further, we need to reduce the government interference in free-market medical care that has driven costs higher and discouraged competion and innovation.

Answer from Robert A. Woods:

I believe in Universal Health care. I've visited the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, all of whom have health care for all citizens under a single payer system. Needs to be done nationally but California could take steps in that direction.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League. 

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily.

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Created: December 15, 2004 13:39 PST
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