Scott Brewer (D)
Education: Point Pleasant High School; Mason County Vocational Technical Center
Occupation: Union carpenter
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 believe that natural gas has the opportunity to help jump-start West Virginia’s economy. I would support the introduction of fast-reporting water quality monitors and emergency intakes in all West Virginia water systems to protect our streams.
Q: What legislation would you push to diversify West Virginia’s economy?
A: Higher education and public education have been subject to debilitating cuts in previous sessions. If you look at growth areas across America, and even here in West Virginia, economic growth occurs around institutions of higher education and areas that have access to well-funded public schools.
Q: How should West Virginia fund PEIA?
A: We should look toward a dedicated funding stream to better control the cost of public insurance. Potential sources include increasing severance taxes, a surcharge on sugary drinks, or other form of revenue generation.
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, I am opposed to civil asset forfeiture. It, like proposed “forced pooling,” deprives our citizens of due process.
Q: Should West Virginia join the 43 other states that allow students to attend public charter schools?
A: No. Charter schools have not been shown to create better educational outcomes. In fact, charter schools siphon money from already-struggling public schools. I do not approve of the privatization of education on the backs of the taxpayer.
Q: Should the severance tax on natural gas (currently at 5 percent) be raised, lowered or kept the same?
A: I believe it should be raised slightly to keep up with increased demand and activity. Our state has been in a budget free fall for many years because the wealthiest are not paying their fair share, leaving the burden of operating state government on the middle class.