Richard L. Patrick (R)
Education: Mountain State University, associate degree, paralegal studies
Occupation: Licensed investigator, bail bondsman
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: Introduce and support any legislation that requires industry professionals and the Department of Environmental Protection to work on such issues. In addition, creation of a board of industry, DEP and citizens that meets regularly for public and industry comment and to address valid problems.
Q: What legislation would you push to diversify West Virginia’s economy?
A: West Virginia enjoys having a number of industries consisting of metals and energy; manufacturing; aerospace; chemicals and polymers; automobile; building products; technology and information; and fulfillment and distribution. The business inventory tax has to go to bring in new industries and give our current industries millions of dollars towards their growth.
Q: How should West Virginia fund PEIA?
A: A steady stream of funding must be put into place for the PEIA. Regional boards of education can save millions in administrative costs while not affecting our teachers and core service personnel. Some of the savings can go directly to PEIA. Looking at ways PEIA can tighten its belt must also be on the table.
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, such seizure is totally adverse to the Constitution that strongly and clearly addressed the issue of illegal search and seizure.
Q: Should West Virginia join the 43 other states that allow students to attend public charter schools?
A: Charter schools could serve as a check-and-balance in the education system. With the existence of charter schools, the public school system will be more conscientious as to the quality of education provided.
Q: Should the severance tax on natural gas (currently at 5 percent) be raised, lowered or kept the same?
A: If you toss a quarter in West Virginia, for years it has been like vultures landing and ripping it apart. Let the industry grow creating more direct and indirect jobs and dollars to our economy. The archaic practice of taking the immediate dollar and not looking at the economic effect of an industry has to stop.