Q&A: House District 46 Candidate Jay Groseclose

  • NAME: Jay Groseclose
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Professional civil engineer
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Santa Fe
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: State agency: New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission
  • EDUCATION: BSCE, New Mexico State University; post-graduate studies, Kansas University
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: jaygroseclose.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?

Minimize expenditures to reduce costs by the amount of taxes not collected due to the shutdown. A tax reduction is necessary to stimulate the economy and foster recovery.  The permanent fund is not an option to resolve budget woes. Delay or reduce non-critical maintenance and capital projects is necessary.

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 need more funding to get to the classroom and cut top-heavy administration. School choice must be implemented, with funding to follow the student. Vo-tech schools must be expanded in secondary schools, including more locations and program offering to include new advanced technology applications.

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

Eliminate it. A well-managed sales tax system would allow businesses to pass through taxes at the point of sale of the business product, eliminating the burden of paying taxes before a product is sold. GRT is extremely damaging to small business that do not have a high cash flow.

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

Oppose. Sufficient evidence proves that marijuana is a significant gateway drug. Today’s genetically modified pot is more powerful than that of previous years. If it is legalized and becomes commercial, it will eventually wind up in minor’s hands even if prohibited legally. Cognitive damage is well documented in youth.

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?

Yes. The intent of the emergency powers act was because of an attack, whether by terrorists or foreign military. We are a government of and by the people, and we never authorized the governor to suspend fundamental liberties. The public must be allowed to choose the powers of the governor.

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

Oppose repealing, propose strengthening. I believe, looking at the statistics, this is one of the largest racist issues we face. Choice vanishes in the face of negligence, just as in driving a car recklessly or boating without a life jacket.

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?

No, and adamantly no, unless clear criminal activity or abuse of power is proven. We have to live with the mistakes we voted into office unless criminal negligence or abuse of power is proven. The authority for government resides with the people, and we elect our servants, not our leaders.

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?

Firmly oppose government interference in raising our families. If taxes were cut enough, parents would have more time to raise their children. Do not touch the Land Grant Permanent Fund; if we leave it as is, in our future it would fully support our government funding needs on interest earned.

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?

No change to the existing system. Political parties and candidate selection must continue to be citizen driven, not overlord driven. Adding an independent primary should be investigated, but no open voting for party candidate primaries. No ranked voting.

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?

Supportive of merit-based funding for water/waste capital projects and commerce- enabling projects, including technical studies and public welfare evaluations. Quality of life projects, such as local recreation facilities, public facilities, local transportation and educational facilities should be evaluated for equivalent treatment of the population. Disclosure should be routine.

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?

Light manufacturing opportunities will be plentiful as the nation divests from massive environmentally damaging foreign manufacturing. Development as a tourist destination state is attractive, as opposed to most of our pass-through tourism history. We have great opportunities for destination tourism if we keep our landscapes clean and our forests maintained.

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?

No moratorium on fracking. I believe that so called renewable energy sources have extensively damaging environmental effects that are being given a free ride for severe damages, locally and globally. Research for carbon capture is close, and New Mexico could be a leader in its implementation.

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

Review and provide fair sentencing guidelines and prohibit catch and release by judges for certain offenses. Judges and prosecutors should have the same liability as police for mistakes. Enable suitable mental health opportunities for non-violent cases.

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?

Some details such as gore should not be available to the public, but limited to prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges. That is why we have judges and prosecutors. We must restore faith in our damaged legal system, and the only way to restore trust is to make the correct decisions.

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 dismantle the unfair gross receipts tax system. Small business owners have to pay taxes on supplies without compensation until final sale of their product. Paying taxes before the point of sale is damaging. Taxing at point of sale will be a more fair system for businesses.

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?

Chapter 13 bankruptcy as co-defendant in spouse’s bankruptcy, paid all claims in full, on time, and discharged by the court.

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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