2004 WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATIVE ELECTION SURVEYS
West Virginia House of Delegates Candidates
15th Delegate District

Parts of Cabell and Lincoln Counties

Click on a candidate's name to see his or her responses:

D --  Kevin J. Craig, 428 11th Avenue, Huntington, WV 25701

D --  Margarette R. Leach, PO Box 7362, Huntington, WV 25776
NO SURVEY AVAILABLE

D -- Jim Morgan, 535 13th Avenue, Huntington, WV 25701
NO SURVEY AVAILABLE

R -- Dennis A. Barry, 51 Meadowlark Drive, Ona, WV 25545
NO SURVEY AVAILABLE

R -- Carol D. Miller, 1316 12th Street, Huntington, WV 25701
NO SURVEY AVAILABLE

15th Delegate District R Paula L. Stewart, 338 33rd Street, Huntington, WV 25702

Paula Stewart (R)

Delegate District 15

338 33rd Street

Huntington, WV  25702

 

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?

 

We have to make West Virginia more business friendly. Our current problems with Workman's Compensation and our current tax structure deter new businesses from entering our state. Our state must also work towards tort reform so we can loose the reputation among business leaders as "tort hell".

 

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?

 

Any thing it takes. We must educate the general public about the importance of affordable quality childcare. I would like to see tax incentives for businesses that invest in quality childcare programs. We need to invest our education dollars into quality childcare and education.

 

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?

 

Again, we have to improve the business climate in West Virginia so businesses that create jobs will move into the state. Job creation will go along way towards raising folks out of poverty. Continued job training that many of our Community Colleges provide will help qualify people for jobs.

 

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?

 

Once again we have to look at quality job creation as part of the solution. WV must also continue to improve its problems with medical mal practice to help lower health costs and in turn lowering insurance rates. Tort reform also has a part in solving our health insurance problems. 

 

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?

 

I would promote stricter penalties for abusers. Primarily through faith-based programs I would promote parenting classes for at risk families. I want to seek ways to reduce the caseloads of our CPS workers to prevent children from slipping through the cracks.

 

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?

 

This is another area where I would seek help from faith-based programs. A violence recovery program would mesh nicely with an after school program. Private and government funding can reach out to hurting families and end the cycle of violence.

 

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?

 

I totally support the FRNs and Starting Point Centers. I would like to see more collaboration between the state and the business world in supporting programs for our states children. After all these children are our future political and business leaders.

 

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?

 

Test scores and grades would be a top priority. When these children work hard they deserve the rewards. An essay contest on how the students plan to use their education to help WV in the future would be a determining factor in who receives the scholarships and grants.  

 

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 would be a high priority with me. This is another area where I would really push for faith-based programs to participate. Partnering with the private sector in WV can invest in its children with out increasing the tax burden on its citizens.

 

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?

 

As a candidate and a teacher for an infant-toddler program with River Valley Child Development Services; quality childcare is part of my platform. Teacher education is essential to providing quality childcare. West Virginia needs to raise the bar on qualifications for those working with our very young children.

 

Kevin J. Craig (D)

Delegate District 15

428 11th Avenue

Huntington, WV  25701

 

 

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?

 

I will continue to work for jobs that provide a living wage and benefits through efforts to improve education, health care and fostering a positive family atmosphere for our children.  Education is critical to our pursuit of high wage jobs.

 

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?

 

We must continue with our community based childcare programs that foster learning, safety and child development.  I will work to see that the resources are made available for such centers to thrive.

 

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?

 

I would propose that we provide waiver opportunities for the welfare recipients that are pursuing educational goals that relate to a field in which they will work.

 

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?

 

Providing health insurance to working families is a top priority of my campaign and service in the legislature.  I was the lead sponsor of a pilot program in Cabell County that provides health insurance to the "working poor."

 

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?

 

We must increase funding and training of our child protective service personnel to ensure that our children are protected.

 

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?

 

We must help our domestic violence shelters survive by funding them through DHHR.  As a board member at Branches' Domestic Violence Shelter I know first hand how limited the resources are at most shelters.

 

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?

 

I support the continuation of the Family Resource Networks, Starting Points and other programs that provide support at the community level. This is how we will make progress by working at the local level.

 

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?

 

We must fund our higher education initiatives in order to move our state forward.  We must make sure all students have the opportunities to get a quality education.

 

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?

 

I place a HIGH priority on affordable after school programs. This is critical to preventing crime and keeping our children safe.

 

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?

 

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