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NAME: Rodney A. Miller
CANDIDATE FOR: W.Va. House of Delegates District 23 (most of Boone County)
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.Miller4WV.com
HOME CITY: Madison
HOME COUNTY: Boone County
EDUCATION: Graduate of Van High School; A.S. Degree from WVU Tech; B.A. Degree from WV State University; WV State Police Academy,
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Executive Director of the West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association; Delegate - WV House of Delegates, 23rd District representing Boone County,
OTHER WORK HISTORY: Transmission and Distribution Engineer – Appalachian Power Company; Engineer – ARMCO & Peabody Coal Corp.; Boone County Deputy Sheriff 1982-2005; Boone County Sheriff 2005-2012; West Virginia Sheriffs Bureau of Professional Standards; Past Chair - Governor’s Commission on Crime, Delinquency & Corrections - Law Enforcement Training Subcommittee; West Virginia Sheriff’s Bureau; Consolidated Public Retirement Board; WV Investment Management Board; Substitute Teacher – Boone County Schools,
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Life Member - National Sheriffs’ Association; Past President/Lifetime Member - West Virginia Sheriff’s Association; Past President/Lifetime member – West Virginia Deputy Sheriffs’ Association; Past President Boone County Lodge 120 - Fraternal Order of Police; Past WV State Trustee WV Fraternal Order of Police; Past President Madison Rotary; Odell Lodge #115 A.F&A.M.; Scottish Rite Bodies; Beni Kedem Shrine, ROJ Court 111; Boone Lodge #170 IOOF; Life Member VFW Auxiliary Daniel Boone Post 5578; WV Wing Civil Air Patrol; Law Enforcement Officer of Year Award - WV State VFW; Boone County AFT; Boone Co. Friends of Marshall; WVU Alumni Assoc. - Boone County Chapter; WV High School Soccer Coaches Association; HS Soccer Coach; Past President, Boone County Other Public Service; Past Cub Master Pack 392, BSA; Madison Baptist Church, Madison, WV,
ENDORSEMENTS: American Federation of Teachers – Boone County, American Federation of Teachers – West Virginia, Communication Workers of America, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Home Builders Association of West Virginia, International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 175, International Union of Operating Engineers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, Professional Firefighters of West Virginia, Teamsters - Local 175, United Auto Workers, United Mine Workers of America, United Steelworkers, West Virginia AFL-CIO, West Virginia Appalachian Laborers' District Council, West Virginia Association for Justice - LAWPAC, West Virginia Automobile & Truck Dealers Association, West Virginia Beer and Wine Association, West Virginia Building and Construction Trades Council, West Virginia Business & Industry Council, West Virginia Chiefs of Police Association, WV Coal Association, West Virginia Deputy Sheriffs’ Association, West Virginia Education Association, West Virginia Farm Bureau, West Virginia Hospital Association PAC (HOSPAC), West Virginia Oil Marketers and Grocers Association, West Virginia School Service Personnel Association, West Virginia Sheriffs’ Association, West Virginia State Farm Agents PAC, West Virginia State Lodge - Fraternal Order of Police, West Virginia Troopers Association, West Virginia Working Families Party.
FAMILY: wife, Cozetta; and two children, Jennifer and Michael
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I am extremely proud to represent the citizens of the 23rd District, bringing your ideas and an experienced, stable leadership to the WV House of Delegates. Please join me in promoting good government instead of the hate filled, radical extremism politics we see so much of! None of us like or approve of that behavior. Join me to help get an effective government working for you rather than against your interests! My goal is to continue to protect you and represent the hard-working West Virginians who are proud to call Boone County home, with commitment and integrity.
Questions from the West Virginia League of Women Voters:
1. With the decline in the extraction industries in West Virginia, what do you think should be done to diversify the state’s economy?
We must use post-mine land, energy resources, agriculture, and industries that have been ignored. Being only hours from 2/3 the population of the US, we can take advantage of location. An educated workforce opens up more possibilities for those looking to relocate where a standard of living entices a population that are driving industry. Welcoming new ideas is important.
2. Do you support recent weakening of EPA regulations concerning air and water quality? Why or why not?
We are seeing an uptick in tourism and recreational use of our waters and woods. It has taken a while to heal from past heavy industrial use. Reducing current regulations becomes a balancing act between industry and protections for life and elements sustaining life such as clean, drinkable water. Evidence based data is needed to make wise choices.
3. What role do you see for state government in reversing West Virginia’s population decline?
Efforts to develop an educated and drug-free workforce and partnering with business and industry to bring jobs back into WV can create jobs, keep our most valuable assets, (our youth) in WV while also creating an opportunity bring home those who had to leave our state seeking employment. Retention and a return of those who left will grow population.
Additional questions from HD Media:
4. The state’s foster care system struggles to care for the 7,000 plus children who are now in it. Some action has been taken in recent months, but what further action do you think might be necessary?
The foster care system is broken and recent actions do not correct issues. We should hold those in positions overseeing the program accountable to ensure the funding is properly used to take care of children. WV needs facilities to take care of those who are currently being shipped out of state due to WV's lack of proper facilities.
5. There have been several attempts to reduce taxes on business in the state, including one failed in this past legislative session. Is it wise to keep pursuing tax breaks for business, at the possible expense of residential taxpayers? Do you think the state’s tax structure needs an overhaul?
Wholesale business tax elimination is not wise. Eliminating the business and inventory tax, for example, could cost Boone Co. an estimated $4 million dollars it cannot afford to lose, and force the tax burden onto the homeowners that could double personal and real estate taxes, that they can't afford. Previous changes through the years has restricted the flexibility for change.
6. Do you think the educational reform bill passed in 2019 is working/will be effective?
I do not. Reforms should be within the existing system rather than removing funding from the already strapped education system and create new ones. Teachers and personnel need proper compensation, benefits and respect to entice qualified staff. We now see the resources needed to meet remote education to support and protect the students. Many needs weren't addressed in the bill.
7. How would you describe efforts so far to add more support staff in the state’s schools to help children in troubled homes?
Weak. More issues are brought into our schools than ever. Counselors and services are important. It is horrifying to realize what children are carrying from their homes. Schools can handle the 7AM-3PM issues, it's the 3PM-7AM issues from outside the schools that they must now manage to help and protect and serve students and continue to educate them.
8. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
In addition to presenting college, we should present career technical education opportunities earlier for students as early as middle school, to determine the path or career they will pursue. Students have different interests, abilities and skills. Programs like Boone County's P-20 pilot program gives students the ability to advance into the workforce or into the college ranks quicker.
9. West Virginia has been especially hard hit by the opioid abuse epidemic. What do you see as the role of the legislature in addressing this crisis?
Ensure availability of treatment services for those seeking to break the grip of substance abuse, and end the stigma of having an issue. Provide educational opportunities to allow for those with substance abuse disorder an opportunity to become productive citizens again. We need to aggressively prosecute the criminal element who are bringing illegal substances and the problems into our communities.
10. How would you improve the state’s access to broadband internet?
Develop an accurate internet coverage map to show real coverage, not the FCC definition. Place internet service under the Public Service Commission to treat as a public utility because their service is vital, and we have too many issues and gaps in service. Develop a system to aid smaller upstart community internet service providers compete to increase service.
11. How would you prioritize using the funds provided to WV by the CARES Act and other COVID-19 relief funds?
We should support small business who are the backbone of WV, with unemployment benefits to those temporarily impacted by income loss. Nurses are needed at every school in WV to handle COVID issues. Ensure broadband internet is available for remote and virtual learning and business opportunities. Adequate protection equipment for 1st responders and medical staff, just to name a few.
12. What changes in current election laws would you favor to make voting safer and more accessible?
Election laws are fairly stable. Accessibility for a legal voter is very important. One change I have already successfully sponsored and passed makes emergency absentee ballots available to those people who become incapacitated within the seven-day window immediately before the election where they are confined to their residence do to disability or sudden illness and under a doctor's care.
13. Lack of broadband access limits employment and educational opportunities in many parts of West Virginia. What should be done to make broadband available statewide?
Access federal money proposed for broadband. Survey WV for a more accurate service coverage map that shows the true high-speed service available. We all know our area is drastically under served. We should attack those underserved areas and encourage those smaller start up service providers wanting to serve those more rural areas and aid in their business opportunities and service.
14. Given COVID-19, how do you propose we protect our students, teachers and school service personnel while at the same time providing equal access to a quality education across the state?
We need nursing staff in each school to handle COVID symptoms and exposures and be a resource for staff; adequate PPE, cleaning and disinfecting supplies; electronic devices for emergency remote learning and non-sharing between students; training for all personnel to respond to COVID. Finally, a stable set of rules for everyone to be able to understand and follow is needed.
15. What experience, training or education do you have that would make you an effective state legislator?
I have enforced our laws; I understand what they do and don't do. I bring life experiences along with those from people in Boone Co. to make WV better. I've personally written and passed major legislation to protect citizens, fight crime and serve those needing help. Developing relationships and respect in the House, I'm serious and dedicated to fulltime service.