Q&A: Senate District 12 Candidate Lisa Meyer-Hagen

  • NAME: Lisa Meyer-Hagen
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Real Estate, Associate Broker
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Associate broker, literacy specialist, director of Care Net Pregnancy Center, staff member for Sen. Pete V. Dominici, married 36 years, raised four children
  • EDUCATION: BA psychology UNM, minor human services, literacy specialist
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: lisaforsenatedistrict12.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?

In two years, General Fund spending has increased $3.1 billion. We owe it to New Mexicans to cut unnecessary spending and eliminate unnecessary programs that do not benefit all New Mexicans. During this challenging economic time, it is imperative to exercise fiscal responsibility, accountability, and resolve to not increase taxes.

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?

We continue to fail at educating our children and it is not due to lack of funding. While we spend $9,500 per student annually, we are at the bottom of results for educational success. We must look to create an entirely new education approach, based on successful models, while greatly reducing administrative spending.

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

Tax reform is priority. Replacing gross receipt tax with a sales tax is imperative. A clean fair tax code based on sales tax and not GRT will attract and promote business growth and provide for a sound revenue base.

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

While medical marijuana has shown positive results, I oppose legalizing recreational marijuana due to the significant societal issues it creates. Examining states that have legalized it recreationally, you will see increased crime, homelessness and auto accidents among other things.

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?

Emergency powers held by the governor should be limited by time and impact on the state. It is understood that in times of crisis swift and immediate decision making is necessary but an indefinite timeline, of unilateral decision making without the input of the legislative body, is unacceptable.

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

Oppose. Late term abortion, all the way thru nine months, should not be legal in New Mexico.

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?

Oppose. All public officials are required to act within the law and are prohibited from acting egregiously. No one is exempt from the law. Qualified immunity allows for public servants to do their jobs while not giving them a free pass to act outside of the law.

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?

The Land Grant Permanent Fund is providing the majority of educational funding and distributions must be maintained at the current level to preserve the fund for future generations. Funding of education is not the problem, it is the management of those funds. Additional money will not address the underlying issues that are failing our children for education.

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?

I support combining outlier, smaller participation elections (school board, water authority, etc.) with higher turn-out elections thus increasing overall voter participation and saving taxpayer dollars. ‘Open primaries’ should continue to be limited to recognized parties choosing their own candidates based on the vote of those who are registered in that party.

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?

Distribution of capital outlay funds should be based on economic activity and tax income production by county. Full disclosure of all taxpayer dollar expenditures, demonstration of fiscal responsibility, and accountability by all legislators should be standard operating procedure.

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?

It is imperative the state diversify its revenue stream by encouraging a friendly business climate, free enterprise, entrepreneurship, and increased opportunity.

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 as that would destroy the industry that is the largest source of revenue to the state. Energy is not a zero sum game. We can explore alternative energy sources responsibly while not destroying people’s lives in the process. We should not increase renewable energy mandates further and re-evaluate the Energy Transition Act.

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

Get back to the basics. Perpetrators should be prosecuted proportional to their crime in speedy trials. Discontinue catch and release, ensure adequate resources for law enforcement and address criminal justice reform. Reducing crime and addressing public safety is top priority.

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?

Need more information

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?

We need to re-evaluate our entire system of taxation and those impediments that increase the length of time it takes to open a business. In addition, addressing public safety, education, and excessive regulations, would greatly improve New Mexico’s opportunities to increase and diversify our business opportunities.

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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