Q&A: House District 27 Robert Godshall

  • NAME: Robert S. Godshall
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Retired from Homeland Security
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 28 years law enforcement, small business owner, political activism in the community.
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from UNM in 1979.
  • WEBSITE: GodshallForDistrict27.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?  Right now, the state is looking at a 2 to 3 billion dollar shortfall. About the only chance this state has to balance the budget is to repeal all the increased spending from the last two years and to get the state’s economy going again. That doesn’t look likely with the other party in charge.
  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? State spending on education puts us in the middle of the pack of states but the education results we get as parents and students is at the bottom. The Legislature needs to hold the education system accountable so that all of our students receive a quality education.
  3. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code? I don’t like the gross receipts tax. It’s too high, it is not applied equitably, it results in tax pyramiding, it punishes small business, and it discourages outside business from moving here. We need to broaden the tax base, make it more equitable, and maybe try a sales tax approach.
  4. Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales? I oppose legalizing marijuana. Just because marijuana sales might generate tax revenue does not necessarily make it a good thing. Denver has a huge problem with the cartels establishing illegal grow houses there, a problem no one is talking about.  I don’t think people are going to want that in their neighborhoods.
  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? These early childhood programs are not proven to be a good thing for families or society. These programs give the state the power to conduct evaluation testing of children as young as 4 and have the potential to determine their education future. I do not favor a constitutional amendment.
  6. Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party? It is clearly the purview of a political party’s members to select their candidates to run for office, so I do not support opening the state’s primary election system. If a person wants to participate in a party’s selection process, they should join a party.
  7. Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances? I oppose repealing the 1969 law regarding abortion.
  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? It seems the current system allows for spending that can both benefit the state and can also be seen as corrupt, so I favor as much transparency in this process as possible. It’s unfortunate, but the allocation of resources is a political process and no system is likely to be perfect.
  9. Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against? As long as the state is going to spend taxpayer money on so many projects and programs, legislators are going to need the input and expertise of lobbyists. Sometimes we get so focused on reforming the system we ignore the unintended consequences which, in this case, might limit accurate information.
  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? I think we need to look at ways to make it easier to operate a business in New Mexico by reducing regulations, changing the tax structure, and explore Right to Work legislation. We need to take better advantage of the brain power contained in our research labs.
  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 appreciate that people in desperate conditions would want to choose to terminate their suffering and end their life. I support the current prohibition on assisted suicide, however, because I’m concerned unscrupulous persons might take advantage of individual situations to hasten the death of their friends or relatives.
  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 do not support a moratorium on fracking, a valuable enterprise that provides us with inexpensive energy, thousands of jobs, and significant tax revenue. I oppose government interference like renewable energy mandates because I believe that significant improvements in technology will likely change our energy future significantly.
  13. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety? We need to understand that the primary function of government is to protect the citizen. Justice needs to be swift and criminals need to be segregated from society. I support legislation that will provide the courts with better guidance on establishing appropriate conditions of release when an individual is arrested.
  14. Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills? I understand that closed door hearings are not a practice although some committees are, apparently, not too prompt in notifying the public of their hearings. I believe the more transparency in government, the better off we would be in this state.

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
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