Q&A: House District 46 candidate Jay Groseclose - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 46 candidate Jay Groseclose

House District 46 candidate Jay Groseclose (Courtesy Jay Groseclose)

NAME: Jay Groseclose

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: Professional engineer

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Santa Fe

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: I have prepared or participated in agency budget requests; reviewed national and state proposed legislation; prepared proposed state legislation; reviewed management or operation plans for federal and state projects for conflicts or omissions; consulted on environmental impacts; prepared water quality standards…

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, New Mexico State University; graduate studies, civil engineering and water resources, Kansas University

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: jaygroseclose.com

1. 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 Legislature take to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?

Eliminate the destructive gross receipts tax scheme and replace it with a more favorable tax system based on collecting tax at the point of consumption. Other options can create a fairer business climate. The gross receipts tax system needs to go the way of the dinosaur. Develop destination tourism.

2. During the last regular legislative session, there was an unsuccessful push to make it easier to keep certain defendants behind bars until trial. Should New Mexico law be changed to make it easier to hold individuals charged with violent offenses such as murder and first-degree child abuse behind bars until trial?

New Mexico needs to consider judicial restrictions or responsibility for violations committed following weak judicial release practices. Mandatory sentencing requirements must be enacted/required, and judicial discretion limited. Offenders should be jailed awaiting trial for egregious major crimes with significant sentencing enhancements for firearm use in the commission of a felony.

3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety as New Mexico faces one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation?

As stated above, mandatory sentencing requirements must be enacted for murder, torture, kidnapping, and other major felonies, including firearm use in the commission of a felony. Judicial discretion in sentencing and parole must be limited for certain crimes.

4. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, do you support or oppose codifying abortion protections in state law? And do you support or oppose enacting any restrictions on abortion in New Mexico?

No, a decision of this magnitude must be taken to the people, not the elected servants of the people. The people should retain authority to govern themselves, and maintain a limited government to enact the will of the people as the Constitution intended. Biology shows unarguably that late term abortions are a violation of the right to life and liberty.

5. New Mexico has already implemented several gun control laws in recent years. Would you support or oppose legislation that banned or restricted the sale of AR-15-style semi-automatic weapons, such as raising the age limit for purchasing such weapons? And what about legislation making it a crime to fail to safely secure firearms around children?

Drugs and alcohol cause a much larger impact ignored by lawmakers. Only 3% of mental health services are provided by the state, resulting in lost opportunities for early intervention in deadly circumstances. Many people cannot afford private services. Focus on AR-15s disservices greater numbers of victims of drug or alcohol abuse. …

6. The state agency tasked with keeping New Mexico children safe has faced recent scrutiny over transparency issues and its handling of high-profile child abuse cases. What changes would you support to improve the operations of the Children, Youth and Families Department?

I am a professional by trade and will not answer without serious background investigation and professional advice. New Mexico is ranked 50th in the nation in child well-being. This is the governor’s fault and the Legislature has failed to act or begin the work necessary to address this horrific negligence.

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

Eliminate it. This is a blatantly unfair system that fails to promote businesses and the economic security and stability in this state. This system must be replaced as other states have done. As most businesses operate on loans, borrowed money is used to pay gross receipts.

8. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay its legislators a salary, though lawmakers do get per diem payments and can qualify for a legislative pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried Legislature and, if so, how much should lawmakers be paid?

No. I endorse the volunteer nature of our Legislature as opposed to professional politicians. The alternative is term limits.

9. 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, especially Native Americans and those who don’t speak English as a first language?

Education of Native Americans was originally a trust responsibility of the federal government. New Mexico should urge the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. New Mexico should endorse the Native CLASS Act to provide education opportunities for Native American children. Non-English speaking children must be provided instruction in English as does most the advanced nations to provide unrestricted opportunities.

10. 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 the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would withdraw more money from the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-12 education?

Oppose. Continue to build the fund for the future when natural resource extractions are exhausted to keep the state from unnecessarily increasing taxes. Future costs have not been considered by the current administration. Reducing state taxes and state government reduces the need for two full-time incomes to support a family. …

11. In order to address climate change and air quality issues, do you support or oppose legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the state achieve net-zero emissions by 2050?

No. We need to invest in carbon capture technology as a much more reliable and responsible solution rather than relying on Chinese high-pollution mining and manufacturing, and on Chinese sweat-shop, child and slave labor.

12. 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. Emergency powers were added to address issues such as 9-11. Emergency powers must be limited to constitutional requirements that the legislature appropriates and the administration spends. Dictatorial, usurped draconian powers as exercised by the governor are wrong. As the emergency powers act specified, the Legislature should be called into session and stay in session for the duration of the emergency. …

13. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?

For state projects such as highways and major infrastructure such as treatment plants and pipelines, merit should play a role. Local projects such as senior centers should be based on local priorities.

14. Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claim that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election? (Yes or No answer only, please)

Respondent did not limit answer to yes or no as requested.

15. What changes, if any, would you support to New Mexico’s election laws?

Require voter ID, limit mail-in voting, provide permanent active remote monitoring records of ballot boxes, or better, remove ballet drop boxes. Make voting day a state holiday. Eliminate extended voting days. Specify that all forms of voting end on voting day. Return to paper ballots and hand counts; remove the machines.

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?

I was a co-defendant in my wife’s Chapter 13 bankruptcy per New Mexico community property law. All debts were paid in full on time and the bankruptcy was discharged by the court of jurisdiction.

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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