Q&A: Senate District 19 Gregg Schmedes

  • NAME: Gregg Schmedes, MD
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Physician
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Current State Representative for House District 22
  • EDUCATION: M.D. Texas Tech (2009), B.S. Electrical Engineering Univ of Texas – Austin (2004)
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.gregg4nm.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? We need to cut spending across the board, as proposed by House Republicans in 2019 and 2020. New Mexico has more departments than the federal government, and I support the elimination of various departments. We should immediately reduce regulation on small businesses. Long term, we need to encourage the development of private sector jobs, not just the industries and businesses the governor happens to politically favor.
  2. 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? The legislature should address the poor quality of our schools because we care about children, not because of a court ruling. The judicial branch does not have the power to legislate. To achieve better educational outcomes in NM, we should give power back to local school boards and decrease the power and size of the PED.
  3. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code? I strongly favor drastic changes in the GRT, which kills jobs and encourages businesses to flee New Mexico to other states with a more favorable business climate. Further, the current system encourages too much political favoritism with politicians picking winners and losers in terms of which businesses receive exemptions. GRT needs to be lowered across the board.
  4. Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales? Oppose. Other states further along in experimenting with recreational marijuana are realizing that public health costs outweigh the benefits. We don’t have the tools to keep NM roads safe from impaired driving. Furthermore, marijuana causes a lifetime of negative health effects if used before age 25. We need to protect our children and young people.
  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? Oppose. One of the greatest assets we have for funding education is our Land Grant Permanent Fund. Long term, we’ll provide more money to our children if we maintain integrity of this fund.
  6. Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party? Oppose. If you want to vote to nominate a private party’s candidate, you should join their party.
  7. Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances? Oppose. This law needs updating, but a blanket repeal is reckless. We need better laws to protect women, especially when abortion is used to cover up abuse.
  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? Absolutely. If the People are paying, the People deserve to see exactly where the money is spent. The capital outlay process should become transparent and available to the public online.
  9. Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against? Support. Also, the governnor’s executive departments that lobby should be held to the same standard.
  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? We should increase the size of our private sector by implementing business-friendly policies such as right-to-work, decreasing GRT, reducing regulation of small business, and enact policies that reduce crime, making it safer to own and operate businesses in Albuquerque.
  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? I oppose doctor assisted suicide. Physicians are healers, not killers. This legislation requires death certificates to be falsified. Heirs to the estate of a terminally ill person can use this law to hasten the death of the person they’ll inherit from.
  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 oppose a moratorium on fracking. Fracking has led to the plummeting of natural gas prices, which in turn have decreased emissions. I support initiatives to improve air quality, but I do not buy into the “climate change” narrative. There is no evidence to support man-made climate change.
  13. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety? 1) Close the revolving door by keeping dangerous criminals behind bars 2) Invest more heavily in law enforcement 3) Life sentencing for repeat violent offenders 4) Bolster initiatives to reduce recidivism such as education, employment, and family skills.
  14. Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills? Oppose. In the People’s house, the People should always have the ability to listen. The process should be transparent.

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. No