Joe Jeffries (R)
Education: Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics
Occupation: Maintenance manager
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: I would focus on the laws that need enacted or removed to ensure communities are protected. Though in my experience in the gas industry, the companies are very careful to protect from these types of incidents.
Q: What legislation would you push to diversify West Virginia’s economy?
A: Removing harmful regulations and taxes from business that keeps new business from coming to our state. Offer incentives to companies opening up here to employ West Virginia residents.
Q: How should West Virginia fund PEIA?
A: Stop the wasteful spending in the top-heavy administrative staff. We don’t need 55 Board of Education offices throughout the state. We should have 10-15 regional offices but keep our 5 elected BOE board members per county to give a more localized voice in our schools.
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: No. It’s unconstitutional to take property from someone when not convicted of a crime.
Q: Should West Virginia join the 43 other states that allow students to attend public charter schools?
A: Yes. I believe parents should have a choice of what schools they wish to send their children to. Be it, public education, charter schools, homeschooling, private schools, etc.
Q: Should the severance tax on natural gas (currently at 5 percent) be raised, lowered, or kept the same?
A: Lowered to be competitive with surrounding states. I’ve heard Alaska being used for many examples, Alaska is nowhere near us and shouldn’t even be a consideration. We need to look at Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky’s rates and lower ours to attract the jobs to come here.
Bill Bryant (D), Zack Maynard (R), Gary McCallister (D) and Jell Eldridge (I) did not respond to our survey.