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Decision '92 : VOTING IN THE VALLEY / AN ELECTION GUIDE : ASSEMBLY / 44th 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?

Fuhrman: Workers' compensation takes first place in waste, fraud and mismanagement.

Hoge: The budget allocation for the state Legislature. There is enormous duplication of staff work and frivolous expenditures on legislative perks.

Saurenman: Mass transit--transportation. A simple example: the Los Angeles to Long Beach Blue Line. A single round trip costs $33 to $35 per passenger. Tickets sell for $2.20.

Indispensable Program

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

Fuhrman: My top priority is our schools. I concede that not every dollar is well spent. We need to slim down administration and make the best use of every dollar we allocate. But I will not ever vote to cut per-pupil spending.

Hoge: Public safety programs should be protected. The spread of dangerous gangs throughout our communities requires the maximum funding for law enforcement.

Saurenman: Probably none qualify.

Rebuilding L.A.

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

Fuhrman: Most of the job has to be done by the private sector. We in government simply have to get out of their way. If a property owner simply wants to rebuild what was previously on the property, I would waive all permitting and review processes at the state and local level.

Hoge: The private sector provisions of the Ueberroth Commission Report will provide a sound foundation for rebuilding Los Angeles. Specifically, enterprise zones will encourage businesses to relocate into these scarred neighborhoods.

Saurenman: Enterprise zones, increased police protection, parental choice of schools, and political control of transit are but a few. Cost could be from contract savings by ending prevailing union wage law requirements.

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?

Fuhrman: No. The intent is reasonable, but the proposal is flawed. I do support increasing taxes on households whose income exceeds $200,000. But I oppose raising bank and corporate taxes or property taxes. Further, the proposed sales tax cut is only one-quarter of one cent--not much of a cut.

Hoge: Proposition 167 should be defeated. Moreover, I was opposed to the 1991 state budget tax increases that included raising the sales tax. We need to help locate businesses into our state with tax deductions, not tax hikes.

Saurenman: I favor repeal of the sales tax hikes. But increasing taxes elsewhere would accomplish nothing but turn banks and corporations into tax collectors.

Gay Rights

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

Fuhrman: Yes.

Hoge: No.

Saurenman: No, although such discrimination is shortsighted.

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?

Fuhrman: Yes. Some are leaving; others are not expanding, and others are opening elsewhere. We can clean up workers' compensation and streamline our regulatory process. But the key to attracting and retaining future industries is to invest in our children, schools and colleges and infrastructure.

Hoge: Yes. A serious change in attitude by the bureaucracy. The recent tax increase seriously burdened many retailers and added internal costs for compliance. Reform workers' compensation.

Saurenman: Yes. Cut deeply into the political rules, regulations, codes, laws, taxes and fees that make it impossible for the poor to start a new business and slow the growth of existing businesses.

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? Fuhrman: Yes, with an exception for small businesses. Group health can be a tremendous cost, one that could put small businesses out of business. But by the same token, health care costs can bankrupt employees. We need some way to control health costs that will make insurance more affordable.

Hoge: No. Government-dominated mandatory health programs will provide poor service, be costly and further drive businesses from California.

Saurenman: No. This fringe benefit was started by companies to entice and hold onto quality employees. Smaller companies that couldn't afford this didn't. If forced to do so, they will create loopholes, not hire employees or cut employment.

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?

Fuhrman: No.

Hoge: Yes.

Saurenman: Yes.

College Tuition

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