Andrew Robinson (D)
Education: West Virginia University graduate
Occupation: Real estate broker, appraiser, auctioneer
Q: What would you do to ensure that West Virginia protects communities from adverse environmental and public health impacts of the rising natural gas industry?
A: Funding for infrastructure is the most important aspect of protecting W.Va. communities. Ensuring that current regulations are followed is important to keeping communities protected.
Q: What legislation would you push to diversify West Virginia’s economy?
A: We should focus on workforce education, including funding career and technical education/community colleges. These educational resources have been largely ignored/defunded over the last few years, and increasing our support of these programs will allow W.Va.'s workforce to be ready and able for any industry.
Q: How should West Virginia fund PEIA?
A: Funding PEIA is a difficult answer, as I am not sure funding is the only issue needing resolved. Finding $50 million plus 10 percent compounding interest annually isn't satisfied by any of the measures I have heard suggested. Therefore, we may need to re-evaluate the makeup and structure of the whole program.
Daily Mail Opinion:
Q: Do you support the current practice of “civil asset forfeiture,” whereby state law enforcement can seize property from citizens even if they are never charged with a crime?
A: We discussed civil asset forfeiture in Judiciary committee this year; sheriff's departments spoke against changes and said this was not an issue in W.Va.. Recently, we have seen an issue arise in the Eastern Panhandle. I would be interested in discussion; however, we must decide with the best interests of law enforcement in mind.
Q: Should West Virginia join the 43 other states that allow students to attend public charter schools?
Q: Should the severance tax on natural gas (currently at 5 percent) be raised, lowered, or kept the same?
A: More research needs to be collected on natural gas severance tax. Recently I requested a side-by-side analysis of the costs to drill and operate a well in W.Va. vs. New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Neither industry representatives nor state departments have been able to provide this information, which tells me we should make no decision on these rates until this information is available.