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Decision '92 : VOTING IN THE VALLEY / AN ELECTION GUIDE : ASSEMBLY / 38th DISTRICT : Q and A

October 25, 1992

Questions were sent to candidates in September. Answers have been edited to fit the space.

State Spending

Q. What do you believe is the single most wasteful program in state government?

Boland: The state bureaucracy itself. Government has gotten too big. We should prioritize state government by consolidating and eliminating boards and commissions that have outlived their usefulness, or provide no services or regulations.

Cohen: The approximately $1.75 million for the governor's trade offices. It's more cost-efficient for the governor to get on a plane and travel to London, Frankfurt, Tokyo etc., than keeping expensive offices and personnel in these cities.

Cutler: Our disability system, which is designed to encourage trumped-up claims that make lawyers and physicians rich at the cost of taxpayers.

Indispensable Program

Q. Are there any state programs you believe should never be cut? If so, what?

Boland: Yes. Public education. Kindergarten through 12th grades should always be protected.

Cohen: Yes. Aid to the aged, blind and disabled, education.

Cutler: No. Most programs could be streamlined, privatized or eliminated.

Taxes on Wealthy

Q. Do you support a November ballot initiative that would raise taxes on wealthy individuals, corporations and banks while repealing 1991 sales tax hikes?

Boland: No. It is nothing more than a multibillion-dollar tax increase that will further damage the business climate.

Cohen: No. I support part of Proposition 167, repeal of the 1991 sales tax hike, and I favor an income tax increase on the top 1% of wage earners. However, California is in a depression, and raising taxes on large and small businesses will further weaken the economic climate.

Cutler: No. California is already losing business at a rapid pace. This would increase the rate of loss.

Gay Rights

Q. Do you support legislation to ban job discrimination against homosexuals in California?

Boland: No.

Cohen: Yes.

Cutler: No.

Business Exodus

Q. Do you believe businesses are leaving California due to a hostile business environment? If yes, how would you make California more attractive to business?

Boland: Yes. I am committed to reforming the state's workers' compensation system and have introduced legislation to do just that. Further, we must streamline the regulatory process, enact tort reform and repeal unnecessary and costly legislation that places California businesses at a competitive disadvantage with other states.

Cohen: No. They are leaving because of a depressed economy. However, workers' compensation is problematic. The high cost of providing health insurance for employees is another reason. There is too much red tape for businesses to deal with.

Cutler: Yes. Cut red tape and associated bureaucratic costs, such as licensing requirements and onerous environmental regulations. Also, lower the corporate tax rate and provide tax credits for research and development.

Health Insurance

Q. Do you support requiring California businesses to provide health insurance to employees or contribute to a fund to provide health care for the uninsured?

Boland: No. There are no easy solutions to developing affordable health care. However, this approach would destroy the already recession-hit small business community by creating another burdensome and costly government program.

Cohen: Yes. But if all parties would agree to work together, our state will lead the nation in the development of a cost-effective health care system for all residents. Efficiency in providing health care will result in lowered expenditures by businesses and employees.

Cutler: No. Requiring health insurance will put many small businesses out of business. Instead, onerous malpractice suits and insurance fraud have made health care unaffordable and it is there that reform is needed.

School Vouchers

Q. Do you support giving state money to parents to allow them to enroll their children in schools of their choice, public or private?

Boland: Yes.

Cohen: No.

Cutler: Yes.

College Tuition

Q. Should tuition at state universities and colleges be increased to help offset state budget deficits?

Boland: Yes. In tight budgetary times, it may be necessary in order to save classrooms, teachers and enrollment space. Nevertheless, our universities are still a bargain compared to what other states charge.

Cohen: No. As an elected official, I will never vote to increase tuition at the state universities and colleges above the cost of living adjustment.

Cutler: Yes. Those that utilize a service should pay for that service.

School Bonds

Q. Do you support reducing the votes needed to pass a school construction bond issue from two-thirds to a simple majority?

Boland: No.

Cohen: Yes.

Cutler: No.

Death Penalty

Q. Do you support capital punishment for any crimes? If so, which ones?

Boland: Yes. Murder. Also, I am the author of AB498, which would have imposed the death penalty on drug pushers who caused the death of any child to whom they provided illegal drugs.

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