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Decision '92 : VOTING IN THE VALLEY / AN ELECTION GUIDE : ASSEMBLY / 41st 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?

Friedman: The governor's office of planning and research, which has been a dumping ground for political appointees and campaign aides since 1982.

Reed: Huge layers of bureaucracy at state agencies whose sole job is to review, regulate and second-guess the service-delivery agencies in local and county government. A good example is Caltrans, with multiple review levels for local transportation projects.

Sykes: By size, the welfare system, which perpetuates dependency and discourages initiative and incentive. By proportion, the Legislature, which is far too large. A leaner "citizen Legislature" would be far more responsive and far less expensive.

Indispensable Program

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

Friedman: Yes. Public education, police and fire services.

Reed: Yes. Public education.

Sykes: In the short term, education should be the last of our major programs to be cut.

Rebuilding L.A.

Q. What specific steps should be taken to rebuild riot-scarred parts of Los Angeles?

Friedman: Only good schools and safe streets are going to give the residents of riot-scarred communities an opportunity to build a better life for themselves. Every effort should be made to create jobs and put damaged businesses back on their feet, including use of tax incentives.

Reed: There should be property-tax and other business-tax abatements to rebuild. Abatements should be tied to numbers of jobs being created and should be funded jointly by the city, county and state.

Sykes: All financing should come from citizens, businesses and charitable organizations. Rebuild L.A. is exactly the correct approach. Substantial tax incentives to businesses are a good, although short-term, remedy.

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?

Friedman: Yes, because it would repeal last year's sales-tax increase that burdened the middle class and hurt small businesses. This will make sure that oil companies, corporations and the top 1% of taxpayers pay their fair share.

Reed: No. It is a major change to Proposition 13 by creating a "split-role" property tax.

Sykes: No. Continued dickering with the tax code is not productive.

Gay Rights

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

Friedman: Yes.

Reed: Yes.

Sykes: Yes.

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?

Friedman: California businesses are suffering from the recession, defense cuts and rising workers' compensation claims. I support job creation programs; aerospace industry conversion to non-defense production such as rail and low-pollution buses and cars; worker retraining, and tough workers' compensation anti-fraud measures, especially directed at phony stress claims.

Reed: Yes. I support substantial and meaningful reform of the workers' compensation insurance program to reduce fraud and to reduce rates. I support reform of the regulatory process to streamline it, reduce the time delay.

Sykes: Yes. Reduce regulation, taxes and bureaucratic obstacles; improve infrastructure.

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?

Friedman: Yes.

Reed: Yes.

Sykes: No.

Education Support

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

Friedman: No.

Reed: No.

Sykes: Yes.

College Tuition

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

Friedman: It was unfair to raise tuition by 40%. Some increase may have been necessary, but I favor limiting tuition on already overburdened UC and CSU students.

Reed: No. We must protect the affordability of the state colleges and universities. The diversity and stability of our society in the future depend on full access to higher education.

Sykes: No. Education must be of highest priority in the long term. Otherwise, we are eating our seed corn.

School Bonds

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

Friedman: Yes. A minority should not be allowed to block desperately needed new schools.

Reed: Yes.

Sykes: No.

Death Penalty

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

Friedman: Capital punishment is appropriate for crimes against humanity, such as genocide. I favor a life sentence without possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

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