NAME: Joe Jeffries
CANDIDATE FOR: W.Va. House of Delegates, District 22 (parts of Putnam, Lincoln, Logan and Boone counties)
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://www.facebook.com/Joe4Delegate
HOME CITY: Culloden
HOME COUNTY: Putnam
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I want to be a voice for the people of District 22 to help being WV to prosperity. I will work hard to bring “A Better, Stronger WV” for ourselves and our future generations.
EDUCATION: Graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics, Truck driving program. WVU Fire Service Extension & RESA public service training.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Truck Driver & Volunteer Firefighter.
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Oilfield, Chemical Industry, Construction, and Hazardous Materials handling.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Putnam County Republican Club; Culloden Volunteer Fire Dept.; West Virginia Citizens Defense League.
FAMILY: wife, Tracy; children, Dylan and Kaytlin.
1. Are you satisfied with how the state legislature has addressed developing and balancing the state budget? Please explain.
While I’m glad a budget was passed and signed without a special session this year(2018), I would like to see spending cuts so that we can work to lower taxes on the citizens of our state. There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done.
2. What new or additional measures are necessary to create a safe and healthy environment for all West Virginians?
We need protections for our schools to be sure we don’t have an incident like we’ve seen in other states. I’d like to see Teachers volunteer to be trained and armed to help protect students. That’s only one step. We will need other resource officers walking the parameters of school grounds for added security so that the teachers are the last line of defense.
3. What do you think the role of the legislature should be in developing a more diversified economy in the state?
The legislature’s role should be working to make WV more business friendly. We need to make business startup easier and more attractive to our state. We over regulate business and make it hard for new businesses to be successful within their first years. We need to offer some incentives to new business to help them get off the ground and running.
4. What measures could help prevent gun violence and mass shootings?
Ending gun free zones would be a huge step in the right direction. Gun free zones only create soft targets. This who commit gun violence are cowards and only target areas which would be less likely to have protections in place. We need people to stand up and speak when they see something that’s not right.
5. With the increased incidence of black lung disease in recent years, does more need to be done to protect miners’ health and safety?
It’s my understanding that most black lung cases are from years prior to current regulations. I believe regulations are in place to protect miners health and safety already. If I’m wrong, I’m more than happy to see where changes need to be made and would gladly work to make the necessary changes to protect our miners.
6. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
If the government works to bring jobs here, many in the workforce will work to be trained for the position they seek. We need to be sure training is available for high demand jobs in our area. We also need to be sure people are trained for the jobs coming to our area so that WV residents can benefit from them.
7. 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?
We need to be sure treatment facilities are available for addicts seeking treatment. We need to push the dealers out and remove the supply and demand in our state. Job creation helps keep people from turning to addiction. Hopefully, if studies are right, Medical marijuana will help to curb the addiction from opioids.
8. What should be done long-term to fix PEIA health insurance for state employees?
There is no “fix” to PEIA. It’ll need addressed annually to be sure it’s properly funded. We must be sure PEIA is being utilized properly and effectively. Sending PEIA to the private market, I feel, would be an option to look into. WV was going bankrupt on workers comp until we sold it to Brickstreet. I believe the same could work for PEIA.
9. What measures do you support on fracking/horizontal drilling that would protect people living near drilling sites?
Property rights must be protected when bringing drilling into our areas. I’m a strong supporter of oil & gas jobs in WV as I know they bring good incomes and benefits to its workers. We must first and foremost protect the rights of our people to be sure those who don’t want to sell, don’t have to.
10. What can the state government do to improve educational achievement in West Virginia?
We need to end common core by any name in WV. Allowing more local control of our students education is imperative. I believe we should remove some of the county BOE offices and have regional offices instead of one in every single county throughout WV.
11. How would you improve the state’s access to broadband internet?
Opening the market to competition would bring better quality broadband to WV. Rural areas are most effected by lack of broadband and companies may need incentives to bring service to those areas.
12. How can WV benefit from the natural gas industry without leaving a legacy of environmental damage, health problems and decreased property values?
Natural gas companies provide great paying jobs and better than average benefits. They are very careful in their operations to ensure the environment is very well protected and in some cases return the area cleaner than when they found it. Property values would more than likely go up, rather than down, when expanding resources to an area.
13. Where do you think the responsibility for setting educational standard lies (e.,g., state or county)? Please explain.
Educational standards should be set by those most local to the school district. Parents need to be more involved in their children’s education and government needs to allow more of a voice to the people closest to the students, parents and teachers.
14. What kinds of assistance from the state would you support to address the shortage of decent, affordable rental housing in WV?
Ensuring landlords are keeping their properties up to safety standards should be of upmost importance. Slumlords need put out so good landlords can provide adequate and safe, affordable rental property. This issue should be handled more by the counties and municipalities mostly but I’m happy to look into what can be done to make it better at a state level.