W.Va. State Senate 7 candidate: Ron Stollings (D)
NAME: Ron Stollings
CANDIDATE FOR: WV State Senate District 7 (Boone, Lincoln, Logan, parts of Mingo and Wayne)
HOME CITY: Madison
HOME COUNTY: Boone
PERSONAL STATEMENT: I have been involved in trying help WV for many years. I came back to my hometown to practice general internal medicine and geriatrics right after residency in 1985. I served as Chairman of the Corridor G Economic Development and help to develop a strategic plan for our future by focusing on education, infrastructure and post mine land use. I also served on the University System Board of Trustees and the higher Education policy Commission and I have learned a lot about the impact education will have on our future. I have seen our area lose 40% of its economy by not being diversified.
EDUCATION: BA Biology and MS Biochemistry WVU. MD Marshall University School of Medicine. Internal Medicine Residency Wake Forest University.
CURRENT OFFICE OR OCCUPATION: Physician and WV State Senator Seventh Senatorial District.
CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS: Past President and Assistant District Governor Rotary.
ENDORSEMENTS: Both business and labor and education organizations.
FAMILY: Daughter, Whitney, and grandson, Seth.
1. Are you satisfied with how the state legislature has addressed developing and balancing the state budget? Please explain.
No! After prior administrations have cut several taxes and then severance taxes plummeted there have been draconian cuts to higher education and social services including child protective services and foster care rendering children unsafe and dimming our future by not investing in education. The current leadership have cut programs that could help save money in our future by bending the health cost curve.
2. What new or additional measures are necessary to create a safe and healthy environment for all West Virginians?
First we must turn the spigot off with regard to our drug problem. We must have more and better recovery programs with wrap around programs and children support services to help deal with the current substance use problem. We must enhance the foster care system. We must address the causes of these adverse childhood experiences. We must have at least one caring adult in each child’s life.
3. What do you think the role of the legislature should be in developing a more diversified economy in the state?
We must invest in educating our people for future workforce needs including high tech opportunities. There will be many needs for the use of our career and technical centers. We must quit cutting our education system but rather invest in programs needed for our future. Roads, water, and broadband infrastructure are essential to diversify our economy.
4. What measures could help prevent gun violence and mass shootings?
Better back ground checks
5. With the increased incidence of black lung disease in recent years, does more need to be done to protect miners’ health and safety?
6. What can the state government do to improve workforce development in West Virginia?
7. 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?
8. What should be done long-term to fix PEIA health insurance for state employees?
9. What measures do you support on fracking/horizontal drilling that would protect people living near drilling sites?
10. What can the state government do to improve educational achievement in West Virginia?
11. How would you improve the state’s access to broadband internet?
12. How can WV benefit from the natural gas industry without leaving a legacy of environmental damage, health problems and decreased property values?
13. Where do you think the responsibility for setting educational standard lies (e.,g., state or county)? Please explain.
14. What kinds of assistance from the state would you support to address the shortage of decent, affordable rental housing in WV?