Q&A: House District 23 Ellis McMath
- NAME: Ellis C McMath
- POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
- OCCUPATION: Concealed Carry Firearms Instructor
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Albuquerque Reserve Police Officer, Navy Veteran, New Mexico State University Commercial Pilot, FAA Air Traffic Controller, Founder and Director of a non-profit organization
- EDUCATION: Eastern New Mexico University, Seven Bar Flight School, Navy Whidbey Island Flight School, FAA Air Traffic Controller Academy, Albuquerque Bible College, Albuquerque Police Academy, Rio Grande High School
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: EllisMcMath.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?
Having never served in the Legislature my knowledge of the complex funding issues is limited. My understanding is the current budget is 400 pages in length. As I dive into this issue I will be objective, considering all points of view in order to make the best decision for the people of New Mexico. Fiscal responsibility is a must.
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?
Parents should play a more prominent role. First, vouchers could be issued to parents allowing them to choose public, charter, private or home school options. Secondly, testing should be reformed. A great amount of resources are devoted to “testing.” Also, parents should be offered resources, enlisting them as a teaching partner.
3. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
High gross receipt taxes unfairly burden low income families. Rid tax exemptions from groups that receive special treatment simply because they engage powerful lobbyists. Some estimate the state gross receipt taxes could be lowered to 2-2.5% if not for special interest exemptions. The tax code needs to be fair for everyone.
4. Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?
More research needs to be completed on the increased health cost associated with recreational marijuana use, including its effect on work productivity, criminal activity, and mental health. Currently I am opposed to its legalization for recreational use.
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?
I oppose a constitutional amendment for this expenditure.
6. Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
Currently opposed. I welcome further research on the pros and cons of this issue and am open to reconsideration.
7. Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?
Human life should be valued. Abortion is a human rights violation: the right for a person to live. It hurts women. There is no need for abortion with Infant Safe Haven Laws and adoption. These people are our newest New Mexico citizens. I oppose repealing the current NM law 40A-5-3(1969).
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?
In the interest of open government taxpayers should know where money is spent. Legislators should disclose their funded projects. However, I oppose a merit-based evaluation system. Each legislator should be allowed discretion in identifying and funding capital outlay for their districts.
9. Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?
I am currently opposed. I need more research on this issue and am open for reconsideration.
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 would look to our neighboring states. I would research the laws, regulations, and tax codes in Texas and Arizona that seem to foster a more business friendly atmosphere. I would promote legislation that would create an enchanted business friendly environment.
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?
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.
13. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?
The “catch-and-release” system needs reform. Often judges are limited in their ability to incarcerate due to current defective laws. Drug and alcohol addiction play a major role in crime. For those who have committed a crime, I would support mandatory recovery programs that have proven successful in other states.
14. Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills?
In the interest of open government I oppose closed-door meetings.
1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
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.