Q&A: House District 14 Robert Chavez

  • NAME: Robert G. Chavez
  • OCCUPATION: Currently a Supervisor at APS Maintenance and Operations.
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Retired Police Lieutenant, Successful Business Owner, and GB98 Contractor.
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in Justice Administration, from Wayland Baptist University. 
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: robertchavez4nm.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? 

Short term we need a special session to be called as soon as possible, so we can make adjustments to balance the current budget. It is very important that we also look for a long term solution, in which we work to create more high paying jobs in New Mexico

 2. 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? 

Every child deserves an equal education and equal opportunity no matter where they live. We must address the needs of at-risk students. We can always do more, and I will make sure we do.

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

Out GRT rate is too high, is regressive and hurts small businesses. We have to diversify our tax base by broadening the base in order to lower our sales (GRT) tax.

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

As a police instructor for D.A.R.E./G.R.E.A.T, I know the dangers in marijuana use, but I also don’t believe it right for someone to have a criminal record for being in possession of marijuana. I lean towards legalizing but would like to see the effects in other states before I make a decision.

 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? 

Yea, I support this. Early childhood education guarantees New Mexico’s future. This will not jeopardize the strength of the fund and investing in our youngest New Mexican’s is our smartest investment.

 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 primary elections.

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

I believe it should be removed from statute due to it being ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court ruling of 1973.

 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?

My opponent has never disclosed his capital spending. I support the individual legislators being able to make the decisions for their districts. Each legislator should be transparent in their project spending.

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

I will always support transparency.

 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 focus on incentivizing existing businesses to grow and bringing high paying technology and manufacturing jobs to our state.

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?

Nobody wants to see a loved one suffering in the final stages of their life. Safeguards and protocols must be in place in order to eliminate unintended consequences.

 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 would not support a moratorium but we should closely monitor the effect of fracking. With the current situation, we need to see if we are on track to achieve current mandates before we reevaluate.

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

The short term would be to focus on more officers to serve the public. Long term I would focus on funding programs to help our youth and give them something productive to do on their downtime.

 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 believe there should be transparency in gov and it should be open to the public

  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