Q&A: Senate District 20 Nancy Savage

  • NAME: Nancy Savage
  • OCCUPATION: Scientist and Educator, retired
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 28 years experience as scientist for the DoD, 15 years combined experience as public school teacher and prison educator for Dona Ana Community College, moved to New Mexico in 1958. Grandmother to six, four of which are New Mexico natives, working to improve public safety, healthcare, education and the environment for all New Mexicans.
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor’s Degree in Education with emphasis in mathematics. Master’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in computers.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.savage4senate.com
  • Facebook: @NancyforNM
  • Instagram: @NancyforNM
  • Twitter: @nancysavage4statesenate20

  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?

Raise tax on oil and gas to Texas levels. Tax recreational marijuana. Increase capital gains tax. Increase tax on $250K+ income. Enforce white collar crime with fines; decriminalize addiction and mental illness; close contract prisons.  Invest “rainy day” funds in New Mexico. Raise internet sales tax. Set up state banks.

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

Marshall resources needed for compliance: require proficiency in two languages; demand multi-cultural learning; increase after-school support; declare moratorium on new charter schools and more spending on athletics; create more flexible teacher certification requirements for curriculum enrichment where needed;  centralize agreed-upon education standards and redistribute educational resources as sanction for non-compliance.

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

Substitute a new sales tax (more transparent). Our gross receipts tax is neither progressive nor equitable, because rates depend on location and type of business. Otherwise, reconsider adjusting all rates to the full allowable of 8.6% for a period of 2-5 years, with sunset clause, exempting prescription drugs and food.

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

I support legalized recreational marijuana while we protect our medical marijuana program. Drug users need evidence-based treatment and if non-violent, they should be transitioned into treatment programs. Education, training, transition assistance is more cost effective than incarceration. This new revenue should be earmarked for education, just as the lottery revenue.

5. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and child care assistance, 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?

Support. We must establish a consistent and sufficient source of education funding in this state. Education is a path away from our most challenging problems: poverty, crime and unemployment.

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

I support closed primary elections because in open primaries, voters are tempted to do “cross-over” voting in order to distort voting preferences of opposing party regulars. This threat will weaken party loyalty.

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

Abortion healthcare decisions are best made by the woman affected in consultation with her healthcare provider. Women must have the right to make their own healthcare decisions.

8. 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?

I support a system where statewide priorities for capital expenditures are debated and made public, right along with separate priorities for each district. Standards for evaluation for all proposals should clearly be stated. Each legislator should be required to disclose which projects were funded.

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

Support, absolutely.

10. 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?

See Answers 1 and 3 above.  Increase internet tax rates; adopt sales tax and use local multiplier effect to increase local revenues (“spend local” incentives, “food to table” networks, at least one state bank branch in every community; stronger tourism, eco-tourism and outdoor recreation).

11. 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?

These difficult decisions are best made by the person affected in consultation with their healthcare providers.  To have options so people can make the best decision for themselves, is compassionate. We must assure that statutory rules governing life-support are sensitive to reasonable care standards and circumstance of the incapacitated party.

12: 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?

Yes, we need a statewide moratorium long enough to prepare and debate a credible, evidence-based plan on whether, where, and under what circumstances a permit for fracking would be granted.  Topics would include assessment of risks of contamination or impairment of other values. Bonds for damages incurred should be preconditions.

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

Public safety depends on prevention, enforcement, and treatment.  Stronger incomes and better education help a lot with prevention. Diversion of young offenders into an effective behavioral health system will reduce incarceration rates and recidivism rates. We can decriminalize and treat addictions and opioid dependence to create responsible citizens.

  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 support MORE rather than less TRANSPARENCY in government.  The legislature should abide by the same open meetings rules it imposes on local town councils. Town councils are not allowed to go behind closed doors to discuss budgets, except where it involves acquisition of property by eminent domain.

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? No
  2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding? No
  3. 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 did not contest a misdemeanor charge in 1969. I was unaware of my right to plead, Not Guilty.