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NAME: Brian Scott
CANDIDATE FOR: West Virginia House of Delegates, 14th District (Covers parts of Mason and Putnam counties)
HOME CITY: Milton (Mason County)
HOME COUNTY: Mason County
EDUCATION: BA Political Science, Post-Baccalaureate Education Certification, MS Sports Management (in Progress).
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Teacher/Coach.
ENDORSEMENTS: WVL-PAC (West Virginians for Life), WVSSPA (WV School Service Personnel Association).
FAMILY: wife, Jessy (Painter) Scott; daughters, Jersey and Lucy.
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I am Brian Scott, candidate for the WV House of Delegates, 14th District. I am married to Jessy (Painter) Scott of Point Pleasant. Together we are the parents of two beautiful daughters, Jersey and Lucy. We do life together as a family. My wife is my partner in everything from coaching football to teaching Sunday school at church. I am an educator and helping our state’s youth find their passion and purpose is a priority. I am running for the WV House in order to make our state a better place to work, live, and do business.
Questions from the West Virginia League of Women Voters:
1. With the decline in the extraction industries in West Virginia, what do you think should be done to diversify the state’s economy?
We must make our state more attractive for businesses and families in WV. We can do this by improving our infrastructure including roads, improving internet and offering effective methods of communication. The expansion of educational pathways and business partnerships with our career and technology centers can also help showcase skilled WV workers seeking to enter the workforce.
2. Do you support recent weakening of EPA regulations concerning air and water quality? Why or why not?
I do not believe that our current EPA regulations are weak. In the past, there was over-regulation in this area which aided in stifling our economy, injured our coal industry, and prevented many projects from happening that would have provided high paying, quality jobs for West Virginians.
3. What role do you see for state government in reversing West Virginia’s population decline?
The decline in WV’s population can be linked to the decline in high paying job opportunities for West Virginians. Our state must work to be competitive with surrounding states in order to attract and retain businesses here. We can begin to do this by improving roads and other infrastructure as well as amending the tax code.
Questions from The Herald-Dispatch:
4. The state’s foster care system struggles to care for the 7,000 plus children who are now in it. Some action has been taken in recent months, but what further action do you think might be necessary?
Our state needs to become more proactive when it comes to the fostering process. An active recruitment process for potential foster families can help facilitate opportunities for placement with healthy families. We also need support systems in place via community and mental/behavioral health services for the foster families, the foster children, and their biological families.
5. There have been several attempts to reduce taxes on business in the state, including one failed in this past legislative session. Is it wise to keep pursuing tax breaks for business, at the possible expense of residential taxpayers? Do you think the state’s tax structure needs an overhaul?
The state’s tax structure needs to be revisited. Residential taxpayers will end up footing more of the government’s bill because our population will continue to decline. I plan to prevent this by expanding our tax base by attracting new high paying jobs to our state. Improved roads, other infrastructure, amended tax code, etc., are other important steps to take.
6. Do you think the educational reform bill passed in 2019 is working/will be effective?
Education reform should be addressed issue by issue, and not lumped together in one comprehensive bill, as was passed in 2019. We must be careful to not combine unrelated issues within the same legislation. Many aspects of the Omnibus Bill passed in 2019 should have been considered individually, as there could be too many ramifications without proper consideration.
7. How would you describe efforts so far to add more support staff in the state’s schools to help children in troubled homes?
Through the addition of student support staff, such as counselors and social workers in our schools, the schools are vastly becoming more readily equipped to deal with the needs of our state’s students. Caseloads have been reduced, allowing for more immediate and comprehensive care and services provided both to students and their families.
8. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
The state can improve workforce development by highlighting the educational pathways offered in our career and technology centers throughout our state. Partnerships between business in our communities with our career and technology centers will not only showcase our students’ skillsets but match them to workforce needs within the economic sector.
9. West Virginia has been especially hard hit by the opioid abuse epidemic. What do you see as the role of the legislature in addressing this crisis?
Our state needs to begin quality relationships with agencies aiding in addiction recovery, including faith-based organizations. We need to aid individuals who are actively engaged in treatment and seeking employment. We also need to look at preventing current opioid users from becoming abusers. Prevention is a key component to combating the opioid crisis.
10. How would you improve the state’s access to broadband internet?
Finding potential funding sources for a comprehensive plan expanding broadband internet services to underserved areas would be top priority. Working closely with the counties needing service would allow for opportunity and partnership within our state to make this dream a reality. This is an important piece of infrastructure we need to improve upon to attract and retain WV jobs.