Q&A: House District 27 Jill Michel

  • NAME:  Jill Michel
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Mother, Small Business Owner, Photographer
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE:  Small business owner, foster/adoptive parent, household CEO, community volunteer, child educator, legislative aide
  • EDUCATION: Central New Mexico Community College + Professional Certificates
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: electjillnm.com

  1. What steps should the Legislature take to ensure New Mexico has a balanced budget amid falling oil prices and an economic downturn prompted by the coronavirus outbreak?

The legislature’s responsibility is to balance the budget within the bounds of the revenues available to it. In boom economies, we should reduce government expenses; spending only on the highest priorities so that when something unexpected does happen, the strain on the state’s finances is limited.

  1. What more, if anything, should the Legislature do to address a court ruling that found New Mexico is failing to provide sufficient education to all students?

There are a number of ways we can have a positive impact on education in New Mexico. Specific to this ruling, we can start by improving the technology available to students. We can continue by creating relevant teacher trainings and mentorship programs. As a strong proponent of school choice, a parents’ right and responsibility to choose an education.

  1. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?

The NMGRT needs to be completely revamped. It is a deterrent for businesses considering New Mexico. The current GRT is unfairly punitive towards small businesses and contractors. We make exceptions and new rules and apply them selectively, and it is the taxpayer who ultimately ends up footing the bill. Legislators must enact a complete common-sense overhaul to fix the GRT and provide relief for the taxpayer.

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

Medical marijuana is already legal in New Mexico.  Any benefit gained in revenue from taxing sales will be far outweighed by the cost of oversight and the damage to our community.

  1.  In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and child careassistance, and created a new early childhood trust fund. 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?

We should be able to manage our budget to sufficiently provide funding for these types of programs without an amendment to the state constitution. As a foster parent and adoptive parent, I am well aware of how many of our state’s allocated funds go unused for programs like this and are ultimately reverted back to the state budget.

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

Oppose.

  1. Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?

Strongly oppose. I am a proud life-long, pro-life advocate.

  1. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding? Should each legislator be required to disclose which projects he or she funded?

Full transparency to capital outlay funding is the best approach. A “merit-based evaluation” system sounds wrought with confusion, bias, and might create more problems than it solves. Constituents have a right to know where their money is being spent in the district.

  1. Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?

I strongly support full disclosure. As I tell my kids, if you have to hide it, you should not be doing it.

  1. New Mexico is highly reliant on the oil and natural gas industries to generate revenue to fund state programs, as evidenced by recent oil boom and bust cycles. What are the things you would do to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?

The key to diversifying the economy is to encourage entrepreneurship and attract businesses to New Mexico because that benefits our citizens in building livelihoods and stronger communities.  We need to look at investing in biotechnology and tech-transfer opportunities, and other flourishing industries.

  1. Do you support or oppose updating the current prohibition in the law on assisted suicide in order to allow aid-in-dying under certain medical circumstances?

As a strong pro-life Republican, I value life at every stage. I believe in end-of-life care and giving medical professionals all the tools necessary to provide complete comfort and the best care possible in those times. I do not support assisted suicide.

  1. Would you support or oppose a moratorium on fracking? And should the state impose additional renewable energy mandates as a way to address climate change concerns?

Oppose.

  1. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?

Keeping our communities safe by improving public safety is one of the most important jobs we have as legislators. Our responsibility is to make sure those on the front lines are properly funded, supported, and have access to the latest technology. Currently, New Mexico is a safe-haven for criminals, and they know it. We must take a tough-on-crime approach.

  1. Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills?

I oppose this practice and support full transparency in all government.

Personal background

  1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
  1. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
  1. 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.
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