Santa Maria Sun / News
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 12
An incumbent's perspectiveState Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian tells the Sun why he's running for re-election
BY AMY ASMAN
It seems like just the other day San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian was running for California State Assembly. Now he’s running again—this time for re-election.
The Republican Assemblyman said he’s proud of the work he’s done in state government over the last two years, and he’d like to continue representing the recently redistricted 35th.
Here are his responses to a recent Q&A with the Sun:
If re-elected to the California State Assembly, how do you plan to address the state’s $16-billion deficit?
“The key to addressing California’s chronic budget deficit is to implement policies that will improve the state’s economy and by adopting a spending cap and rainy day fund. Lost in all the talk about the deficit is the fact that over the last several years, revenues have actually increased year over year, even after the expiration of the temporary 2009 taxes. No amount of taxes will be enough to satisfy Sacramento’s spending lobby, therefore it is absolutely necessary that we control spending by implementing a spending cap.”
What are your thoughts on Gov. Jerry Brown’s May budget revision? Do you agree with his proposed tax measure for the November ballot, which would enact a temporary income-tax increase on the wealthy to pay for education and public safety?
“Unfortunately, the governor’s May revision includes some difficult cuts to important program[s]. Some of these cuts could have been avoided had the Legislature acted in March as Gov. Brown proposed rather than relying on over-optimistic revenue projections that never materialized. It is up to the people of California to determine whether they want to see an increase in income and sales taxes. I believe that the best way to increase revenue is to improve the state’s business climate and economy.”
To your knowledge, would the proposed reduction to trial-court funding and delay of court construction impact completion of the Santa Maria courthouse?
“It is my understanding that funding for the Santa Maria courthouse project was not impacted by the governor’s May revise. I will continue to monitor the budget to ensure that funding for this important project remains a priority.”
Your opponent, Gerry Manata, has some very strong stances on taxation. What is your opinion on the matter?
“Mr. Manata and I have very different views when it comes to the tax burden that Californians face. I believe that hard-working Californians already send enough of their paycheck to Sacramento. I believe that the best way to increase revenue to the state is to implement policies that will increase economic development and to repeal unnecessary regulations and burdensome regulations. Doing so will make California a more competitive place to do business and stem the flow of jobs to other states.”
You were recently appointed vice chair of the special committee on the governor’s reorganization plan, which proposes merging several state agencies and departments. What is your opinion of this plan? How have you prepared for this position?
“I commend the governor for taking a step in the right direction. Every dollar saved by increasing efficiency in government is a dollar that we have available to fund essential government services. As a member of the Little Hoover Commission, I had the unique opportunity to examine the proposal before the rest of the Legislature. Overall, I believe that the proposal is sound. That said, the Legislature must accept or deny the proposal as is, and cannot make changes. Therefore, it is essential that the committee thoroughly vet the proposal before making a recommendation to the full Assembly.”
How has your role on the Little Hoover Commission benefited the state and your constituents?
“As a member of the commission, I have the opportunity to take a deeper look at some of the major issues facing the state, free from the partisan distractions that can often complicate decision making by the Legislature.”
What is your stance on fracking and other methods of oil extraction?
“Our economy depends on access to energy. Like all energy-extraction methods, there is an environmental cost to extracting oil through fracking. Our goal should be to access these resources in the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner as possible.”
What would you say to some of your opponents who believe you haven’t done enough to protect the local environment?
“I would let them know that I care deeply about the environment, but remind them of the millions of Californians who are out of work. Creating jobs is my priority.”
To date, what do you consider your greatest accomplishments in office?
“I am proud that I have been able to utilize my business and local government experience and ability to work across party lines to deliver for my constituents. I am proud of the bills that I introduced on behalf of the local governments in my district that were approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor. I am also very pleased that I have been able to maintain a strong presence in the communities that I represent, despite the time that I am required to be up in Sacramento.”
In which areas do you hope/plan to improve if re-elected? How will you accomplish these goals?
“If re-elected, I hope to continue building on the relationships that I have established during my first term and use those relationships to enact policies that will improve California’s economy and put more Californians back to work.”
Contact Managing Editor Amy Asman at email@example.com.
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