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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?

Davis: Since education is the largest part of the budget, it would seem to follow that it is the most wasteful. Since we have over $180,000 per classroom available, but in some cases they can't get books, it would seem to be confirmed.

Margolin: The workers' compensation system. California has the sixth highest workers' compensation costs in the country, yet it ranks only 35th in benefits provided to injured workers. This inefficient and wasteful system costs California employers billions of dollars each year and needs to be overhauled immediately.

Rotter: The drug war exacerbates every problem it was intended to solve. By driving up drug prices, it has produced unprecedented levels of crime and violence. Our overextended police can no longer protect us, prisons are overcrowded, courts are overburdened.

Indispensable Program

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

Davis: No. Isn't this sort of a dumb question?

Margolin: Funding for kindergarten through 12th grade education. Moreover, the current level is woefully inadequate and should be increased.

Rotter: No.

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?

Davis: No.

Margolin: Yes.

Rotter: No.

Gay Rights

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

Davis: Yes.

Margolin: Yes.

Rotter: 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?

Davis: Yes. Reformer workers' compensation, reduce taxes and regulations, streamline regulations. Enact comprehensive legal reform--tort reform, etc.--and rein in local regulations by the use of state power.

Margolin: The business climate in California is deteriorating for a wide range of reasons, including the national recession and cutbacks in defense spending. On the issues over which state government has some control, such as reform of workers' compensation, we need to take immediate and aggressive action.

Rotter: Yes. First, taxes must be cut across the board. We need to cut personal taxes that erode spendable income and, thus, make California less attractive to both businesses and workers. Second, California should adopt a school voucher plan giving parents a sum equivalent to that spent by public schools, which they could spend at a school of their choice. This will generate competition in education, which will force schools to meet the needs of parents and students. Better schools and a better-educated work force will help entice businesses to locate and expand in California.

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?

Davis: No. Socialized medicine is a bad system.

Margolin: Yes. This approach makes sense, but only if it is absolutely tied to a major health-care cost containment package that gives employers guaranteed controls on their health spending.

Rotter: No. Mandatory employer-provided health insurance will consume a substantial portion of the money available for employee compensation and thus narrow the range of wage/benefits packages subject to negotiation between employers and employees or unions. One of two things will result--lower take-home pay or fewer jobs and higher unemployment.

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?

Davis: Yes.

Margolin: No.

Rotter: Yes.

College Tuition

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

Davis: Yes. I would favor a system such as I attended with state support, tuition being a strong part of the mix, and scholarships for the capable poor, and loans. We also need to regain control of the budget by requiring heavier workloads for professors and a freeze in salaries until an adjustment reflecting a fairer pay schedule is achieved.

Margolin: The recent 40% increase in CSU fees strengthens my belief that the pain of balancing the budget has fallen disproportionately on students.

Rotter: Yes. Especially in light of California's fiscal crisis and the tremendous disparity between the actual cost of a college education and the fees charged at state institutions, students or their families should bear a greater portion of that cost.

School Bonds

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

Davis: No.

Margolin: Yes.

Rotter: No.

Death Penalty

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