W.Va. State Senate 5 candidate: Vicki Dunn-Marshall (R)
HOME CITY: Barboursville
HOME COUNTY: Cabell
E-MAIL ADDRESS: Vicki@votevicki.com
PERSONAL STATEMENT: A first time candidate for the State Senate because I believe in WV. I have raised my family here for 28 years. Since 1985, created several thousands of jobs and mentored many young people in their careers. I want my children to prosper and live in this community so I can be part of my grandchildren’s lives. Too many businesses and jobs are leaving our state which leads our children away. My years of experience are in team building and leadership. I hope to take my common sense experience to the State Senate to move WV forward like we all deserve.
EDUCATION: Wayne Memorial High School, Wayne Michigan and Virginia Farrell Cosmetology College, Wayne Michigan.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Franchise licensee for Little Caesars Pizza in Southern WV, Eastern KY and Southern OH. Owner of a real estate development business for residential and commercial affordable rental property.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Worked at Little Caesars Enterprises from age of 15 to 22, then became a franchisee of the brand.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Barboursville Rotary Club immediate past president and current board member, Mountwest Community and Technical College Foundation board member, World Presidents Organization Mountain State Chapter Finance Chair, Chamber of Commerce, National Riffle Association, American Saddlebred Horse Association, United States Equestrian Federation, International Franchise Association, Little Caesars National Marketing Committee, Little Caesars Franchise Advisory Council, CaesarVision Advisory Committee.
FAMILY: Two daughters, Kendall and Carissa Marshall, both of Barboursville. Brother, Mark Dunn of Huntington. Sister, Lori Zundel of Proctorville. My parents, Fred and Joan Dunn, lived here from 1984 until retiring to TN in 1996.
1. Are you satisfied that the Legislature has done enough to protect West Virginians from chemical spills? Please explain.
From the recent chemical spill several vulnerabilities were discovered in the protection of our water source. The Legislature must continue to be an oversight to the agency regulators and inspectors but more importantly, we must have alternate water intake sources with clear future emergency plans in place.
2. What steps would you recommend to improve West Virginia’s economy?
Jobs, jobs, jobs. WV must be a clear choice for business. Our economy improves with additional business and working citizens paying taxes. Three challenges that keep companies from choosing WV and providing new job opportunities for our citizens; Our current Tax Structure; Our Legal Climate and lack of an Appellate Court System; WV is not a Right to Work State.
3. Do you think more needs to be done to ensure high school graduates are competent? Explain.
Yes, our children should be offered an educational experience that prepares them for life. West Virginia needs to take a broad approach to education in order to develop a workforce that is prepared for current and future career challenges.
4. How do you propose keeping more students in school and reducing the truancy rate?
A combination of parents and teachers to inspire our kids that school is the first stepping stone to life. The process needs to start in elementary and middle school. Kids that are active and contribute in class are much more interested in going to school. The court system should be an absolute last resort.
5. What can the state government do to improve educational achievement in West Virginia?
Nearly half of the general revenue goes to education, yet we rank in the bottom 5 nationally. 79% of 8th graders are not proficient in math,73%+ of 4th graders are not proficient in reading. It’s clear why our young people cannot compete for today’s jobs. WV is the top 3rd for funding education but the bottom 3rd for results.
6. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
Bringing business and Community and Technical Schools together to partner on much needed training for skilled jobs. Business benefits by having a trained labor force for specific positions and students are immediately employable after graduation in good paying jobs.
7. What more should the state do to battle the prescription drug crisis?
More access and emphasis on drug rehab and education programs. Improving the economy in WV by adding jobs will allow many to “believe” and “hope” that tomorrow can be better without addiction and WV will no longer be #50 in workforce involvement.
8. Are there more steps the state should take to reduce obesity?
We are all responsible for our choices in life. With increased physical activity in schools, plus information and education our children will and are making better choices. Over regulation (government prohibiting your personal choices) shouldn’t be the answer.
9. How could the state help small businesses grow in West Virginia?
Improving the tax structure, eliminating the business franchise tax, expanding our legal system with an appellate court, addressing the rampant “sue and settle” legal climate, allowing WV to be a Right to Work State.
10. Do you think the state should do more to reduce the size of the prison population?
Absolutely! The daily fees associated with housing inmates is a tremendous burden on our precious tax dollars. One way to decrease the drug related (majority of inmates) would be from expanding the rehab and drug education programs to prevent the crimes in the first place.
11. What measures do you support that would improve the lives of West Virginians, especially children, who are living in poverty?
West Virginia has the lowest workforce involvement percentage in the nation. That means we have the highest percentage of government assisted families. Creating jobs will allow for many to improve their income, feed and prosper their families. Families cannot prosper without prosperous jobs.
12. What measures do you support on fracking/horizontal drilling that would protect people living near drilling sites?
The legislature should enact laws to protect our residents and homes near drilling sites while allowing for our abundant resources to create billions of dollars in tax revenue for the state.
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.
Our education system clearly needs to be reformed. We are among the leader in the U.S. in terms of financial investments per pupil, but among the lowest in academic achievement. Ideally our children's education decisions would be made at the local level, but I support any effort that might improve our state's education outcomes.
14. What needs to be done now to diversify the economy of West Virginia?
West Virginia is full of good, hard-working people who would love nothing more than to have a decent job and provide for their families. By reforming West Virginia's business climate (tax code, litigation, regulations, etc...) we can create an environment in which West Virginia is always competitive for job relocation and expansion of existing businesses.
15. What solutions would you offer to deal with drug abuse problems in West Virginia?
We have to expand successful drug treatment models, such as the "Healing Place," and coordinate local, Tri-State, and federal efforts to target drug dealers and increase jail time for large-scale operations. Additionally, we have to deal with the lack of employment opportunities many people face in our state.
16. How would you address the problems of barriers to employment and other services experienced by those in successful long-term recovery from addictions?
I would ensure that people who successfully complete a drug treatment program, and stay clean, have access to job training programs that allow them to learn a productive skill.
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.
Rather than simple program modifications, we should try to address the root causes of why people are impoverished and how to transition them to the middle class
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?
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