NAME: Bill McCamley (i)
POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
OCCUPATION: Business Outreach
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Las Cruces
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: County Commissioner 2005-2008. State Representative 2013-Present. 6 years experience in small business. 3.5 years in the non-profit sector administration. 1 year in University administration.
EDUCATION: BA Government, New Mexico State University 2001. Masters Public Policy, Harvard University 2003.
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.billmccamley.com
- What are the top two things you would do to improve the economy in New Mexico?
We need investment in education and infrastructure for targeted areas. In Southern New Mexico, that should revolve around border development, the aerospace industry and using New Mexico State University’s resources as efficiently as possible. We should also create a flatter, fairer tax system.
- If the state’s revenue downturn persists, would you favor trimming state spending or increasing taxes as a primary response? Which cost-cutting or revenue-generating measures would you prefer?
Tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. Colorado will raise $140 million purely from marijuana taxes this year. Also, get rid of the tax carve-out for capital gains. It costs $50 million per year, creates no jobs and 75 percent of the benefit goes to the top 10 percent of earners.
- Do you support or oppose the current policy of including student test scores as part of teacher evaluations? If you support the policy, what percentage of the evaluation should the test scores account for?
Using testing in evaluations, especially if it involves teacher pay, causes more harm than good. It doesn’t account for students that learn at different levels, where English is their second language, or ones with special needs. It is also driving teachers out of our schools.
- Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico?
I sponsored the bill to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. It will be better for the economy, allow our criminal justice system to focus on serious crimes and increase state tax revenue. Prohibition of alcohol was a failure, and it is far more harmful to society than marijuana.
- Current state law requires early-grade reading intervention. Coupled with that, do you support or oppose legislation that would automatically require some third-graders without adequate reading skills to repeat the grade level?
Data measured over decades from states like Florida and New York have showed this program to not only be ineffective, but to increase dropout rates. It was such a failure in Oklahoma that is was repealed after two years. Students need support, not punishment.
- To provide more money for early childhood programs, which are unspecified, do you support or oppose taking more money out of the state’s largest permanent fund on an annual basis? If you are in support, what sort of accountability measures would you favor?
I do. Data over decades show that investment in early childhood education provides deep and long-lasting benefits to the community in countless ways. These include better reading skills, higher overall test scores and lower dropout/crime rates.
- Would you support or oppose the creation of a state ethics commission that publicly releases complaints and holds open hearings?
I strongly support this and have offered to co-sponsor the legislation next year. Trust in government has faded in recent years, and mechanisms like this are needed to hold officials like me accountable and increase trust by the public.
- Do you support or oppose making New Mexico a so-called right-to-work state, by changing state labor laws so that nonunion employees would not have to pay union fees as a condition of employment?
Oppose. Employees themselves already choose whether to unionize by vote. Taking that away is undemocratic. States with less union participation have smaller wages. Busting unions only increases the gap between rich and poor, and we need to make it easier for people to live the American Dream not harder.
- 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?
Aid in dying is about giving people who are already terminally ill and mentally capable the freedom to make their own decisions. I support this, as my father was able to make those choices when he passed and it was better for him and my whole family.
- Do you support or oppose allowing retired law enforcement officers to return to work while still collecting pension benefits to shore up department staffing, if the program does not negatively impact the solvency of the retirement fund?
I support raising salaries to attract quality individuals to vital jobs like police, fire and other public health positions. Double-dipping is only a band-aid fix for a much bigger issue.
- Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
Support. All taxpayers should have the right to vote in any publicly funded election. Participation in the public process should be encouraged, not barred.
- How should the state’s lottery scholarship program be kept solvent into the future?
There needs to be more funding from the state to public universities. This will allow regents to keep tuition levels lower and decrease the pressure on lottery revenues.
- Does the state need to toughen its DWI laws? If so, how?
The number of alcohol-related traffic deaths is down, as is the number of people arrested and convicted of DWI. I would like to give more time to see if our current laws continue to work better before passing more legislation.
- Do you support or oppose opening all legislative meetings in connection with the budget to the public?
Strongly support. Transparency and trust in the process requires public input. This cannot happen without access to meetings where decisions are made.
- Do you support or oppose raising New Mexico’s minimum wage, currently $7.50 per hour? If so, by how much?
No one who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty. That goes against everything we preach in our nation. Therefore a $12-$15 minimum wage is very reasonable.
- Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
- Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
- 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.(Please be concise in answers to biographical questions)