NM House District 33 candidate Mary Martinez White
- NAME: Mary Martinez White
- POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
- OCCUPATION: Retired from New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts as Statewide Magistrate DWI Drug Court Coordinator.
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Mesilla
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 25 years of service to local government, state government and the Judiciary. Former, two term, Doña Ana County Treasurer.
- EDUCATION: Bachelors of Business Administration, Masters of Business Administration: Both from NMSU.
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: marymartinezwhite.com
What are the top two things you would do to improve the economy in New Mexico?
I would support major investments in education to improve our future labor force, reduce poverty and the costs of crime, and reduce the costs of deferred health care. And, I would support significant state investments in solar and wind energy farms distributed across New Mexico.
What are the top two things you would propose to address the state’s high crime rate?
I will work for early intervention programs that will reduce the rate of recidivism for non-violent offenders. I will also work towards a major increase in data driven systems designed to identify and increase sentencing for repeat violent offenders. We should never have a backlog of sexual assault test kits.
How would you address the state’s high DWI rate?
Because the DWI/Drug Court model has been proven to reduce repeat offenses of driving while impaired, I would support funding for both the Magistrate and District DWI/Drug Court programs, would support expanding those programs based on administrative cost savings, and would work for consistent standards for both court systems.
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 the intent of 2018 House Joint Resolution 1 and would support a similar bill.
Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales ?
I support legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana because of civil equity issues and the practical aspects of gaining revenues from marijuana sales. A significant portion of marijuana sales tax revenues should go to treatment of addictions. The law should include strict regulations on impaired driving and distribution to minors.
Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
Yes. All voters are citizens and taxpayers and as such should be allowed to vote in primaries under the same standards used in New Mexico’s general elections.
Do you support or oppose raising New Mexico’s minimum wage, currently $7. 50 per hour? If so, by how much?
I support an increase to $8. 50 an hour in 2019 and $10 an hour in 2021 with exceptions for the first two years of new businesses with fewer than 15 employees. Minimum wages have not matched inflation since the present minimum wage of $7.50 took effect in January of 2009.
Do you support or oppose basing any percentage of a teacher’s performance evaluation on student test scores ? Explain.
Yes, if the test is put through relevancy testing to show it applies to a wide spectrum of socioeconomic populations existing in New Mexico, and the local school board and teachers have had input on the tests’ contents, and if the evaluations rate performances within the same school district.
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 only if the factors described above are used to develop the tests that contribute to evaluation scores. Standards for bonuses must be clear and consistent statewide. In those conditions, unions should not be able to block bonuses.
Do you think having 32 state institutions of higher education is too many? What would you propose to make higher education more efficient?
Intuitively, yes. I would need more information on factors such as cost, regional per capita enrollment, and educational attainment efficiencies of dispersed compared to concentrated campuses, and the ratio of administrative to faculty costs before determining how to make higher education more efficient.
How should the state’s lottery scholarship program be kept solvent into the future?
The 30% guarantee must be kept in place. The lottery’s gross receipts tax exemption should remain in place. This question also begs that the cost of higher education be addressed and resolved.
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 ?
Because “right-to-work” is a much more complicated issue than the question indicates, I prefer to state in response that I support the right of employees to create unions and their right to collective bargaining.
Do you favor making New Mexico a sanctuary state?
“Sanctuary state” is as much a statement of values as it is a legal status. I think it is important that we define our value system through an open and public process before making a decision that would have legal ramifications.
If an Ethics Commission is approved by voters, at what point do you think ethics complaints should become public?
An Ethics Commission seems the logical entity to determine the timing of the release of complaints but early notice to the public reflects the transparency I believe government should model and, with electronic media so prevalent, “leaked” documents seem to usually do more harm than publicly released documents do.
Do you believe the initial police incident reports and videos of arrests and crime scenes should be public?
Yes, I do, but with qualms. Reports on rape or child abuse are highly sensitive and I wish I had a better idea on how to address those qualms.
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?
We should end the Rail Runner system. In addition to balloon payments and safety upgrades, it is facing maintenance and replacement costs. Reinstate New Mexico DOT’s Park and Ride bus system which carried nearly the same number of travelers between Albuquerque and Santa Fe with better efficiencies at all levels.
Do you favor imposing a gross receipts tax on all internet sales?
Not on food or other items that are exempted from gross receipts taxes at brick and mortar locations.
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?
This is not much space for critical analysis. Many deductions should be considered for elimination because the activities will occur with or without the deductions and/or because the activities should be taxed equally with similar activities in New Mexico: 7-9-94, 7-9-104, 7-9-106, 7-9-107, 7-9-108, 7-9-110. 1, 7-9-110.2, 7-9-103.1, 7-9-103.2., and 7-9-114.
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?
I am participating in meetings and group led conversations regarding this issue but our community has not completed its process of discussing what steps should be taken. Because of our community’s ongoing discussion, and because I am running to represent my community, I cannot take a position at this time.
Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
Have you ever been involved in a personal or business 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.