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State Assembly candidate Steve Fox airs his views
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State Assembly candidate Steve Fox airs his views
AV Press
Sept 26 2012
State Assembly candidate Steve Fox airs his views

In advance of the Nov. 6 election, the Antelope Valley Press sent questionnaires to the two candidates seeking office in California's 36th State Assembly District, Democrat Steve Fox and Republican Ron Smith.

Fox is a former trustee of Antelope Valley College and AV hospital board member. Smith currently serves as the vice mayor of Lancaster.

To help voters make up their minds, the Antelope Valley Press is running the candidates' responses to the questionnaires in their own words. Today we feature Steve Fox's responses; Ron Smith's answers were published Tuesday.

Q: What is the No. 1 priority of California state government?

FOX: The No. 1 priority of the California state government is to build and stimulate our economy without taxing the middle class.

We can stimulate our local economy by connecting our corporate tax incentives to how much of a corporation's profits are reinvested in our state in the form of new development and good jobs. By keeping the money local, we stimulate our local economies.

We can give millionaires a higher tax and we can tax minerals which come out of California's ground.

We have infrastructure and talent available to bring more military contracts to our district and create additional jobs. We need to market and use these assets immediately.

Part of economic priority is to ensure proper funding for our top priorities: A full and complete education for our children, which includes reduced secondary class sizes and more classes at the college level. By focusing on excellence in education, we are investing in our future economic success.

Finally, we need to ensure access to preventative medical care for our families now to reduce the impact of higher medical expenses in the near and more distant future.

Q: Do you support/oppose Propositions 30 and 38? Please explain your support or opposition for both measures.

FOX: I support Prop. 30 (at least this time) and I oppose Prop. 38.

During a recent visit to Sacramento, I attended a budget briefing by the Democratic Assembly majority. They supported Prop. 30 because it represents a negotiated resolution to assist in creating a balanced budget which would maintain the level of funding for education, health care, our court system and safety. The proposition struck a balance between taxing the extremely rich at a greater percentage, a sales tax increase, and other funding mechanisms.

Prop. 38, on the other hand, had been written poorly by a private wealthy individual which created funding for additional programs rather than generating funds for the continuation of current levels of funding for education, health care, our court system, etc. While I support Prop. 30, I would not support yet another set of increases next year. There are new forms of revenue generation (i.e., bring businesses to California). New revenues must be found. We can no longer balance the state budget on the backs of the middle class and poor.

Q: What should be done to fix the ongoing California structural budget deficit? Do you agree or disagree with the Democratic majority on their approach to the budget?

FOX: The Democratic solution is responsible to balance our budget, but it is not a permanent fix. We cannot keep taxing or throwing money at this problem. We need to create long-term solutions which do not tax the lower or middle class. I propose that we audit each program, cut the waste and eliminate the fraud. We should choose which programs we really need. We can also take steps to increase our tax base. If we stimulate the economy by focusing on increasing the number of jobs in our state, our residents will have more to spend. Reaching out to industry to bring jobs back to the state will produce an increase in collected income taxes and more income from sales taxes.

Q: What is your position on offshore drilling for California?

FOX: I support offshore drilling as long as it creates additional jobs for Californians without endangering the environment. I support the creation of jobs through responsible offshore drilling. America should not be dependent on other countries for our energy sources, and California can help lead the way to American energy independence.

Q: What is your position on realignment?

FOX: Though the governor's plan deals with early release of nonviolent offenders, I am still against it and the Assembly version of AB 109. This is a safety time bomb. This can only lead to a disaster in the future. I understand the overcrowding and economic problems, but I have other solutions:

I believe that we should take nonviolent offenders and delay their sentencing and allow them to work off their felonies. Let's have them work for a living and pay taxes, which will help all of us and give them a chance to earn back their future. If they don't make it, then they can serve their full sentence.

I also believe that we should put prisons back on a paying basis, where the prisoners earn their keep and the prison pays for itself, rather than having the taxpayers paying to house them. I believe that we can have them serving in prison while living in tents. If tents are good enough for our soldiers, then they are good enough for the prisoners to live in.

We should not allow the prisoners to be unleashed on the general population. Let's make them earn their own way while they're in prison and earn the right to live in the community.

Q: What would you do to help encourage new business and bring back investment to California? How would you cut through the thicket of stifling regulations and environmental restrictions keeping employment down?

FOX: We can encourage new businesses to come to California through re-establishing development funds and offering to pay for their infrastructures should they relocate to our state.

We can further offer a series of tax credits for coming to and staying in California.

While some business practices should be deregulated to offer cost incentives to businesses, we must be careful. It was this same concept of deregulation which caused the housing crisis.

Small businesses, especially, should be given waivers on much of the current red tape. We should work on streamlining and coordinating local, state and federal regulations and allow small businesses to report on one form. For example, I have seen a great deal of double licensing by state and federal agencies. One or both of these licensing steps can be eliminated to make business start-up more accessible to more people.

With regard to the environment, I believe there are some regulations which do not make common sense and which are preventing development and job creation. A balance must be struck between the need for people to feed their families and the protection of endangered animals and plants. We have many creative minds in California, and we need to be putting this creativity to work in fixing our modern issues rather than trying to use outdated solutions.
26-09-2012 02:58 PM
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