NM House District 24 candidate Michael Meyer

  • NAME: Michael J. Meyer
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Consultant
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Prior experience as a legislative analyst (house tax and revenue and business and industry sub-committees) and legislative assistant. Successful small business man with experience in extractive industries, rail, banking and investment banking including bond underwriting of most of New Mexico’s school districts, counties and municipalities. FINRA arbitrator.
  • EDUCATION: B. U. S. University of New Mexico and pursued a Masters in Economics.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: meyerfornmhd24. com

What are the top two things you would do to improve the economy in New Mexico ?

The top two things that can be addressed to improve New Mexico’s economy are revisions to the New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC). Many of the rules in the code are antiquated. Second is to develop strategies to expedite the process for companies of any size to locate in New Mexico.

What are the top two things you would propose to address the state’s high crime rate ?

A change in case management is required. Criminals know that they will not be prosecuted for certain types of crimes. The impact to individual property owners is immense. Police appear to be the ones in handcuffs, not criminals. Longer sentences for repeat and violent offenders is required.

How would you address the state’s high DWI rate ?

The DWI rate could be reduced if the driver or anyone providing a vehicle to that driver have that vehicle permanently impounded. If employed by any government entity, the individual would never be allowed to drive any vehicle for work. We also need case management with jail or treatment options.

New Mexico now spends about $270 million a year for early childhood programs, such as home visiting, pre-kindergarten and child care assistance. Do you support or oppose a constitutional amendment that would withdraw more money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to increase funding for early childhood services ?

I support programs for early childhood development. Funding from the Permanent Fund is problematic. Before we implement these strategies, don’t we need to look at what bureaucracies and support staff are going to be needed to implement them? Are there existing resources that could be allocated to this program ?

Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales ?

New Mexico has a drug and DWI problem. We should address these issues before we legalize marijuana. Legalization should be considered if driving under the influence issues are addressed and New Mexico tax payers do not have to pay for other ancillary side effects of its use in the future.

Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party ?

I support open primaries. Independent parties should have a chance to vote for whomever the wish. A closed primary system is antiquated.

Do you support or oppose raising New Mexico’s minimum wage, currently $7. 50 per hour? If so, by how much ?

My economics background has taught me that small businessmen and women who have increased costs try to pass them on to customers. If not able to, they make changes in their organizations to cut costs, usually done by cutting employee hours first. So although well intentioned, there are limits.

Do you support or oppose basing any percentage of a teacher’s performance evaluation on student test scores ? Explain.

I support any tools that allow exceptional individuals to be rewarded based on their contribution to an organization. Circumstances including education, prior experience and seniority enhance the skills of individuals. But teachers cannot make up for poor parenting and they should not be held responsible for that.

Do you support merit bonuses for teachers who do well on their evaluations? Do you believe unions should have the authority to block such bonuses ?

I support merit bonuses for exceptional teachers at all schools. Unions should not be able to block those bonuses. We should all strive to promote success over failure.

Do you think having 32 state institutions of higher education is too many? What would you propose to make higher education more efficient ?

Having 32 state institutions is wasteful. It builds unnecessary bureaucracies and infrastructure. We should analyze the redundancies, keep historical regional facilities, determine which classes can be provided via the internet and then execute a plan to reduce institutions. An addition of technical vocational schools might be needed.

How should the state’s lottery scholarship program be kept solvent into the future ?

One option is working with states in the region, increasing payoffs to make the incentive to buy lottery tickets greater. Another option is to reduce amounts paid to students, a poor option. I would like to see a portion of the lottery resources allocated to the technical vocational schools.

Do you support or oppose making New Mexico a so-called right-to-work state, by changing state labor laws so that nonunion employees would not have to pay union fees as a condition of employment ?

I support making New Mexico a right to work state. It would increase economic growth here in New Mexico. This has been the result in other states.

Do you favor making New Mexico a sanctuary state ?

I favor legal immigration. My grandparents were legal immigrants and as a child I helped my grandfather learn to read. I do not think New Mexico should be a sanctuary state.

If an Ethics Commission is approved by voters, at what point do you think ethics complaints should become public ?

Should the ethics committee be approved, it would be prudent to have a process where the committee votes on when a complaint is made public. All individuals’ rights need to be protected, and individuals should not be tried in the media.

Do you believe the initial police incident reports and videos of arrests and crime scenes should be public ?

I do not favor the videos of incidents or police reports immediately being made public as this may impact a case. Such releases should only occur after an appropriate review by the qualified party selected for such review.

The state faces balloon payments on its Rail Runner debt in 2025 and 2026, a federal requirement for tens of millions of dollars in safety upgrades for the train, and declining ridership. On the other hand, the train is popular with the commuters who rely on it, and the Rail Runner may seek federal funding for the safety changes. Do you support continuing operation of the Rail Runner ?

I believe the Rail Runner should be sold to a private entity. That entity could make the decision as to whether or not it should continue running. The balloon payments and “real” operating costs of this entity need full and complete disclosure.

Do you favor imposing a gross receipts tax on all internet sales ?

I would support an internet sales tax as long as there is main street fairness in its application. Reviews of this subject have been attempted legislatively, but the gross receipts structure makes this virtually impossible. A complete re-haul of the New Mexico GRT laws would be a better suggestion.

New Mexico has more than 100 exemptions and deductions in its gross receipts tax system. Would you favor eliminating some or all of them as part of an attempt to lower the base rate? If so, which ones? If not, why ?

I support reduction or elimination of some GRT exemptions. Example: No fuel tax charge for aircraft taking off from the Spaceport. Sir Richard Branson and his passengers can likely afford to pay that charge. Two that have worked well include Intel and Facebook, because they have provided local economic boosts.

What would you support to make New Mexico schools safer? Would that include changing New Mexico’s gun laws? If so, what specific changes to the gun laws would you support ?

To make New Mexico schools safe we need to: Involve parents, family and the community. Know your surroundings and who’s around you. Report situations that are strange. Appreciate the right and freedoms of the First and Second amendments. Teach civics. Be as proactive as you can. Increase security at schools.

Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens ? My businesses and I have never been subject to any tax liens.

Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding ? I have never been involved in any bankruptcy proceeding.

Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state ? If so, explain. I have never been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state.