Click on a candidate's name to see his or her responses:R -- Mitch B. Carmichael 11 Vail Drive, Ripley, WV 25271
NO SURVEY AVAILABLE
Delegate District 12
HC 62 Box 186
Romance, WV 25248
1. Some say that a growing economy will lift all boats, but, despite some recent encouraging economic news, the evidence is that many hard-working families are falling further behind. What specific Legislative plans do you have to help grow businesses in West Virginia that provide jobs with wages and benefits sufficient to support a family?
Support Judicial reform. Too many businesses are leaving the state or refuse to come into West Virginia because Judges are interpreting laws to suit themselves.
2. More mothers have entered the workforce in recent years, partly out of economic necessity. While some parents are satisfied with their arrangements, many have concerns about finding good, flexible childcare programs and paying for them once they do. As a Legislator, what will you do to promote affordable, high quality childcare in West Virginia?
Support legislation that would provide reasonable and verifiable tax credit to those who need to pay for childcare, also provide training courses for those who care for the children.
3. Federal and state welfare reform laws passed in the mid-1990s include requirements that pose problems for parents pursuing education and job training that gives them skills and employment opportunities. Many of these families have reached, or are about to reach, their lifetime federal welfare benefits and are still unemployed. As a Legislator, what policies would you propose to better support families who face these challenges and to help raise them out of poverty?
Provide cost free job training courses for those who are physically and mentally capable. This should help to reduce the practice of drug trafficking.
4. In 2004, the West Virginia Legislature passed a resolution calling for a study by the Children's Health Insurance Program Board to examine a potential expansion to children at 250 and 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. But many of their parents, typically lower-wage workers without benefits, remain uninsured. As a Legislator, what will you do to ensure the continuation and expansion of children's health insurance, as well as coverage for parents and other working-age adults?
I would support legislation that would provide Children's Health Insurance for all children in or near the poverty level. This would also require tax credit for the providers of health care.
5. A recent federal review found that West Virginia's child protective services system is not doing enough to assure the safety and well-being of children. As a Legislator, what policies and programs will you promote to improve the well-being of children who have been abused or neglected? What actions will you support to prevent child abuse from happening in the first place?
This is a very sensitive subject and very important to children who are actually being abused. Some alleged cases may be based on prejudiced whims of neighbors.
6. Studies show that many children who witness domestic violence suffer a great deal of pain and trauma, even if they are not directly abused themselves. As a Legislator, what policies and programs will you promote to help reduce the incidence of domestic violence and to aid domestic violence survivors and their children?
Domestic violence can be caused by a wide variety of reasons which involves mental capacities of both the abused and abuser. The law should be strengthened for the abuser and provisions made so that the abused parent and children and properly cared for.
7. In 2004 the Legislature revised the 1990 legislation that created the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families to better coordinate policies and programs at the state level and to support Family Resource Networks, Starting Point Centers, and other programs at the community level. As a Legislator, would you support the continuation of these activities and, if so, what policy outcomes would you like to pursue through the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families?
My support would depend on the effectiveness of the Governor's Cabinet program. Hasty decisions may not always be right. I would have to know what policies deserve my support.
8. West Virginia's Promise Scholarship and needs-based grant program aim to increase in-state college attendance rates among our state's young people, thereby expanding their opportunities in work and in life. In June's special session of the Legislature, eligibility standards for the Promise scholarships were raised in anticipation of the $10 million yearly increase in the program's cost by the 2005-06 school year. As a Legislator in these tight budget times, if the state cannot fund all eligible applicants, how would you establish priorities for these programs?
Raising eligibility standards will only serve to exclude more students. I would seriously question the reasons for anticipated increase expenditures of colleges and universities. Is the increase really justified? Awards to institutions of higher education can be controlled by proper legislation.
9. Currently 60% of West Virginia children between 6 and 17 live in households with working parents. Although the hours after school are peak hours for juvenile crime, high quality and affordable after school programs are not available to all West Virginia school children, especially for children over 12. As a Legislator, how great a priority would you place on successful after school programs that provide learning activities and connect children with caring adults, and what policies would you support related to such programs?
After school programs are very important, and should be provided for all children. In order for this to happen, financial incentives should be considered for adults who are willing to participate. Financial support could come from lottery and gambling casinos.
10. As a Legislative candidate, are there any children and family policy issues that you would like to address that have not been covered in the above questions?
YES. I would like to have legislation enacted that would require a law enforcement person in every middle and high school in the state.