Q&A: House District 44 Candidate Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert

  • NAME: Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Trainer
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Served as New Mexico state representative for District 44, nine terms
  • EDUCATION: B.A. plus, University of New Mexico
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: janepowdrell-culbert44.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?

Budget Freeze. State of New Mexico will have to tighten its spending to maintain a balanced budget.

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?

Half of New Mexico’s budget is spent on education. Education should be driven by elected officials and not the legal system. Teachers are spending more time on discipline than teaching. The missing link is the parent who must be more involved in their child’s education and classroom behavior expectations.

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

Complete overhaul of New Mexico tax code. Start with the elimination of gross receipts tax.

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

Oppose legalizing marijuana.

Do you believe changes should be made to the emergency powers held by a governor during a pandemic or other time of crisis? If so, do you believe such powers should be expanded or reduced and in what specific ways?

Reduced. The governor should work with local governments on closing and opening all community activities including businesses and churches. Small business is the backbone of this state and should never be devastated again like it has been with COVID-19.

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

Oppose. By repealing the law, it will open the door for abortions through birth and that is murder.

Do you support or oppose enacting a new state law that would allow police officers and other public officials to be sued individually by abolishing the defense of qualified immunity?


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 for now. The state has all the programs that are supposed to increase education readiness for children. Question #2 states New Mexico has an insufficient education system. No more money should be tapped until the state’s Education Department figures out what’s not working. Rio Rancho’s school system has been recognized as one of the best in the nation; use it as a model.

What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its election laws and primary system? Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?

Pass voter ID; this would eliminate boxes of ballots showing up out the blue. Make elections fair and protect election integrity. Oppose opening state primary elections.

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?

No. Since being elected to the legislature, my three communities have received information in writing and presentations to the City Council on how capital outlay dollars are allocated.

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 steps should the state take to diversify its economy and revenue base?

Arizona and Texas economies are booming, what they have in common is ‘RIGHT TO WORK’. No GROSS RECEIPTS TAX. New Mexico should pass ‘RIGHT TO WORK’ legislation immediately.

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?


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

Appropriate more money for law enforcement cadet training. Support local law enforcement.

Do you support or oppose the public’s right to inspect footage taken by cameras worn by law enforcement officers? Under what circumstances, if any, should police video be withheld from the public?

Oppose, allowing the tape to be shown contaminates the jury pool and judicial process. Create witness intimidation. Allows the defendant to change their story.

Members of New Mexico’s business community contend some state laws and regulations need changing so the state can better compete with Texas and Arizona when it comes to attracting companies. What steps do you believe should be taken to improve New Mexico’s economic competitiveness?

Overhaul business taxes, continue to rebuild New Mexico’s infrastructure, evaluate water availability, increase LEDA (Local Economic Development Act) and JTIP (Job Training Incentive Program) funding, pass ‘Right to Work.’

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?


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.