TALKER: Sen. Lois Wolk (D-Davis)
Interview conducted by Omar Ornelas (DPR Chief of Staff) and Chris Telfer (DPR Interviews Editor)
DPR: With the student debt load now more than $1 trillion – more than credit card debt – this issue is being been compared as a potential follow up housing market collapse of 2007. What are California legislators doing to prevent something like that from happening?
Lois Wolk: As a parent of two UC graduates, I’m no stranger to the issue of student debt. My sons will be paying off their college debt for quite some time. It’s an incredibly difficult situation for many students, as well as the UC and CSU systems, which continue to struggle to maintain standards despite reduced state funding. Hopefully, our more stable budget situation will provide for more stable tuition levels, which would benefit everyone.
DPR: What are your thoughts on California’s Prop 8 being heard in the Supreme Court?
LW: Every California citizen should be able to marry the person he or she loves, and should be afforded the same legal rights, protections, and benefits as same-sex couples.
DPR: Senate Democrats recently have introduced a package of gun control legislation that is aimed at reducing the amount of gun crime in our state. DO you support any of the measures or what is your stance on it?
LW: I am very supportive of legislative efforts to prevent gun violence in California. I’m actually carrying two measures on this issue, including a bill (SB 755) focused on keeping firearms out of hands of criminals. It adds a number of misdemeanors to the current list of convicted criminals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition in California for a 10-year period.
I’m also carrying a measure (SJR 1) urging Congress and President Barack Obama to enact comprehensive gun violence prevention policy that includes prohibiting the sale of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and strengthening criminal background check requirements. SJR 1 has 20 other Senate coauthors, and was recently approved by the State Senate.