W.Va. House 16 candidate: Carol Miller (R)
HOME CITY: Huntington
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I chose to live in West Virginia 41 years ago. Our state is so special. We have a rich, historical culture, a breathtaking landscape and amazing, talented people. I have been honored to serve the people of Cabell and Lincoln counties. I work to create the environment that allows our state to prosper and grow. I want your children to be well educated, able to find good jobs here, so they can stay and raise their families. I will continue to work to make this happen. I believe in our Constitution, and the principles that founded our Country.
EDUCATION: Graduate of Columbia College, Columbia, S.C. certified to teach on a secondary level. Majored in History and Political Science.
CURRENT OFFICE: I have been in the House of Delegates for 8 years, having been elected in 2006. I am a real estate manager, and a bison farmer.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Many years ago I worked for the Department of State Personnel in Ohio, Columbia Gas, The Smart Shop in Huntington (as a Buyer) and for United Way of the River Cities. I am a small business owner.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Rotary Club of Milton, Farm Bureau, Musical Arts Guild, Junior League Garden Club, Madie Carroll House, Previous involvement in many Boards: Marshall Artists Series, WV Commission on the Arts, Musical Arts Guild, Yeager Scholars, Scott Community Center, Junior League, Cabell County Republican Women, Boy Scout Leader, Historical Society, Huntington Museum of Art Docent
FAMILY: Married to Matt Miller for 41 years. 2 sons, Chris- wife Cassie, Sam- wife Katie, 3 grandchildren.
1. Are you satisfied that the Legislature has done enough to protect West Virginians from chemical spills? Please explain.
The Legislature triple referenced the Water Bill. I serve on 2 of the 3 committees that worked the bill-Health and Finance. We listened and discussed all aspects of the spill. The bill addressed inventory and registration of facilities, regulatory standards, inspection requirements, source water protection, and public access to information. As with all laws, follow-through and enforcement are important.
2. What steps would you recommend to improve West Virginia’s economy?
Create the environment to embrace job creators. Grow the economy by having a fair tax system which doesn’t punish capital formation. Have a balanced legal system. Encourage export marketing of all commodities. Increase warehousing- our location is key to transportation corridors and markets. I’m Minority Chair of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development Committee. I sponsored Project Launchpad .
3. Do you think more needs to be done to ensure high school graduates are competent? Explain.
Yes, many freshmen students are in remedial courses to bring them up to college level classes. For those high school students who are college bound, the school system should consider implementing a college bound class curriculum that would include various disciplines to prepare them and to measure their level of competence in core curriculum.
4. How do you propose keeping more students in school and reducing the truancy rate?
Cabell County implemented a system that involved the students, their parents and the Courts that was getting successful results. Education starts in the home. The parents are responsible for their children and must be held accountable when their children are not in school.
5. What can the state government do to improve educational achievement in West Virginia?
Almost half of our State budget is dedicated to education. We need to eliminate much of the State bureaucracy and place more of the money locally. I am a sponsor of a bill that requires that the State Board of Education members be elected, so that they are accountable to the people they represent. We need more local control.
6. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
It should start before Middle School. Students need to be prepared to enter the workforce. They should be exposed to trade skills and professions to pique their interest and to train them for the available jobs. Drug education should also be taught from Middle school forward, so that they understand the danger and effects of drug dependency.
7. What more should the state do to battle the prescription drug crisis?
The State needs to put more money into drug rehabilitation and recovery. The availability of “beds” is drastically underserved. At present it is critical to have services for women. Children are doubly impacted when the mother is addicted. Prescription drugs need to be monitored , including quantity of certain prescribed drugs as well as the volume of those purchased.
8. Are there more steps the state should take to reduce obesity?
The State isn’t obese, the people are. Promote healthy living on television, radio and social media. Get people involved in a movement and it will catch on. Members of churches, schools, places of business can motivate each other to eat and live in a healthy manner.
9. How could the state help small businesses grow in West Virginia?
Streamline the process of starting a business. Eliminate property tax on inventory and equipment. Efficient and effective regulatory policies that are reviewed systematically. Include job impact statements on legislation. Provide a competitive tax system. Encourage Community and Technical College participation for job training.
10. Do you think the state should do more to reduce the size of the prison population?
I have been a leading force in promoting the legislation aimed at reducing recidivism in our prisons. We passed Justice re-investment last year which is a data driven program to help stop the constant re-entry back into prison largely due to drug addiction. We have drug courts, day report centers, and supervised parole to help learn new habits.
11. What measures do you support that would improve the lives of West Virginians, especially children, who are living in poverty?
Providing schooling at age 4 for children starts them on an early path of reading and learning. It also provides them with balanced nutrition. With proper mentoring and encouragement, children can be taught to set goals and to successfully seek a vocation and to follow their own path.
12. What measures do you support on fracking/horizontal drilling that would protect people living near drilling sites?
Legislation has been passed to monitor sound, distance of well pads from residences, as well as water usage and displacement. We must continue to be mindful of our environment, water, roads and private property rights.
13. Do you support the West Virginia Department of Education’s Next Generation Content Standards and Objectives, West Virginia’s plan to implement Common Core? Explain.
I have some concerns about “Common Core. Standards such as mastering addition before learning multiplication, should be determined within our state, not Washington D.C. Where has all the testing gotten us? Teachers want to teach children how to think, not how to test. Our objective is to teach and inspire students to be productive citizens who can earn a living.
14. What needs to be done now to diversify the economy of West Virginia?
The government’s job is to create the environment for the market to grow by good policies and carefully thought out regulation. Our population is an indication that we haven’t struck the right balance yet. Our educational system must teach students the appropriate skills for the burgeoning oil and gas market and have direct involvement with the business community.
15. What solutions would you offer to deal with drug abuse problems in West Virginia?
I am a big fan of peer mentoring and drug courts. We need to educate children, prior to middle school, the effects of drugs on their bodies. I was on the forefront of efforts to include drug rehab and recovery as part of prison sentences for low level offenders. Make more beds available for rehab.
16. How would you address the problems of barriers to employment and other services experienced by those in successful long-term recovery from addictions?
People who have successfully recovered from addictions have achieved one of the most maturing and significant events in their lives. Give them a chance to succeed.. The government can add additional beds and resources to facilitate more people through valuable rehab and recovery programs and additional training opportunities.
17. Do you support West Virginia asking the USDA to allow the state to say SNAP benefits cannot be used to purchase non-nutritive soft drinks? Please explain why or why not.
Our state is suffering from obesity and related health issues. SNAP benefits should be designed around providing good nutrition information and teaching good, better, best choices- utilizing facilities like Huntington’s Kitchen, maybe even implementing a reward system. People will find a way to get soft drinks if they want to get them.
18. West Virginia has the highest rate of smoking among pregnant women. We also have one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the country. Do you support increasing the West Virginia state tax on tobacco products to coincide with the national average?
We have a high rate of babies who are born drug addicted-nicotine included. I consider this a form of child abuse. God bless these poor babies. Educate don’t legislate. Taxing isn’t the answer.
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