Q&A: House District 20 Meredith Dixon
- NAME: Meredith Dixon
- POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
- OCCUPATION: Consultant
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Worked for Senator Tom Udall and Speaker Brian Egolf, actively involved in the Albuquerque community.
- EDUCATION: BA Chatham College, MA University of Pittsburgh
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: meredithfornewmexico.com
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?
It is clear that the legislature is going to have to make significant changes to the budget and will need to examine both increasing revenue and scaling back spending. Long-term, the legislature needs to double down on efforts to diversify the economy.
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?
The legislature should work to ensure that increased funding targeting at-risk students is having a positive impact; encourage additional funding to be spent in the classrooms; and support educator training and mentorship programs.
What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
Gross receipts tax reform is critical and will help level the playing field for New Mexico small businesses. We can lower the rate by broadening the base and removing the hundreds of exemptions. Also, we should evaluate tax credits and deductions more frequently to ensure they have their intended effect.
Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?
I support legalizing recreational marijuana use and taxing its sales. I believe that a thoughtful, data-driven plan to legalize marijuana can result in more jobs and a sustainable source of revenue for the state.
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?
The proposed constitutional amendment would ensure a reliable source of funding for programs dedicated to early childhood development and education. Poverty and adverse childhood experiences (ACES) are high in New Mexico and investing in early childhood programs is an efficient and cost-effective way to invest in our future.
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 open primaries.
Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?
I support repealing the old abortion ban that criminalizes abortion. A majority of New Mexicans support repealing this old law and keeping this very personal decision between a woman and her healthcare provider.
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?
Yes, I believe that it is time we modernize the funding process for infrastructure so that we spend our dollars as strategically and efficiently as possible. Yes, I support transparency in the capital outlay process.
Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?
I support bringing New Mexico’s reporting and disclosure requirements in line with the federal rules which means increased transparency and disclosing which bills lobbyists advocate for or against.
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?
First, leverage our sustainable competitive advantages, especially in industries such as aerospace, biosciences, and renewable electricity. Second, support new companies by making manufacturing space more accessible and the Angel Investment Tax credit refundable. Third, recruit large companies with tools like JTIP and LEDA funds, resulting in additional ancillary businesses.
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?
I support updating the current prohibition in the law on assisted suicide in order to allow aid-in-dying under certain medical circumstances.
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?
I believe an immediate moratorium on fracking is impractical for consumers, industry, and funding for New Mexico schools. However, I do support additional aggressive renewable energy investments and mandates, methane capture efforts, retrofitting residential and commercial buildings, and incentivizing consumer transition to solar and electric energy.
What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?
The legislature should address crime and improve public safety in two ways. First, by tackling systemic issues that lead to higher crime rates. Second, by investing in capabilities for law enforcement, such as crime-fighting technology, community policing councils, and partnerships with academia, technology industries, and other local experts.
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 the New Mexico Open Meetings Act and believe we need more transparency in all areas of government. I do not support decisions being made outside of public view and scrutiny.
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.