Delegate Tom Fast of Fayetteville WV filed for reelection to the West Virginia House of Delegates on Saturday. Fast, the first Republican elected in Fayette County in 86 years is seeking a second term, hoping to continue needed changes for West Virginia. “Our message has been to uphold morality, save tax payer dollars, make government more efficient and encourage production of our natural resources,” said Fast. “I am asking the citizens of the 32nd Delegate District for another term to help build on the needed changes to pick West Virginia up.” The 32nd Delegate District consists of all of Fayette and parts of Raleigh, Nicholas, Clay and Kanawha Counties, Fast sits on the powerful House Judiciary Committee, the busiest committee in the Legislature, and on the Roads and Transportation and Industry and Labor Committees.
On moral issues, Fast cites the Pain Capable bill of 2015, making it illegal in WV to have an abortion after 22 weeks because the unborn child can feel pain. This year Fast co-sponsored the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act (HB 4004) seeking to prohibit the dismemberment of an unborn child as a form of abortion, except to save the life of the mother.
Regarding taxpayer savings, Fast made the tough decision to modify the prevailing wage law in 2015. Fast already voted to repeal prevailing wage in 2016. “It is not wise to pay an unskilled laborer an artificially inflated wage of $72,000.00 per year for government construction jobs,” said Fast, “when our very skilled and highly educated teachers make on average half that amount”.
Regarding government efficiency, Fast points to a legislative required audit of the entire Highway Department that revealed several areas where it can be run more efficiently. On production of natural resources, Fast is proud to have helped vote into law the Coal Jobs and Safety Act, and the repeal of the West Virginia version of cap and trade. Fast is hopeful the coal industry will rebound. “If we can get Congress to change the federal statutes governing the EPA, that agency will then, and only then, be bound by what it can and cannot do”, said Fast. “As for now, the federal laws are so vague, this federal agency can write just about anything it wants to in a regulation, and that is killing our coal industry.
Fast is hoping to see good bills come out of the Education Committee, of which he does not sit, to help the Fayette County school system. Although that is mostly a county issue, Fast did cosponsor HB 4026 intended to require term limits on SBA members. Fast wrote all members urging their support for the latest Fayette County proposal and was not pleased when it was outright denied.
Fast reports he did not miss any votes last session and none so far this session. “I’ve never been so busy,” said Fast, “but it is rewarding. I only hope the sacrifice and effort results in what is .best for my district and the state of West Virginia.