Q&A: Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert, Republican candidate for House District 44

NAME: Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert




RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: State Representative of New Mexico for 10 terms

EDUCATION: BA plus, University of New Mexico


1. New Mexico relies heavily on the petroleum and natural gas industries to generate revenue to fund state programs, as evidenced by the recent oil boom and bust cycles. What steps should the Legislative Assembly take to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?

Continue to work on modifying the tax regime to make it more attractive for business relocation opportunities.

2. During the last ordinary legislative session, efforts were made unsuccessfully to facilitate the retention of 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?

Yes. I will continue to support laws to keep violent offenders behind bars until trial.

3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety in the face of rising violent crime rates?

Inject more funds into the law enforcement community. Over the years, the legislature has passed laws to ensure a safer environment. However, until something is done at the federal level on immigration, crime will continue to rise.

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

Eliminate the gross receipts tax.

5. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay its legislators a salary, although legislators receive per diems and are eligible for a statutory pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried legislature and, if so, how much should legislators be paid?

I would support a salary for lawmakers. Per diems do not always cover expenses for attending committee meetings in different parts of the state. $50,000 annual salary for elected legislators with per diem and pension with contribution requirement.

6. What more, if anything, should the legislature do to respond to a court ruling that found that New Mexico does not provide sufficient education for all students, especially Native Americans and those who do not speak English as a first language?

New Mexico will have to ask parents to be more involved in their child’s education; school choice; consider education labs with tutors in various communities

7. What should be the priority as New Mexico seeks to strengthen its health care system? How should the state address the shortage of nurses and other health care workers?

The cost of medical malpractice insurance is too expensive to do business in New Mexico. Reduce costs associated with malpractice insurance. This will improve the recruitment of nurses and other health care providers.

8. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, preschool, and child care assistance, and created a new early childhood trust. Do you support or oppose the constitutional amendment proposed in the November ballot that would take more money out of the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-education? 12?

No. The legislature created an early childhood trust fund to address this issue.

9. In order to address climate change and air quality issues, do you support or oppose legislation that limits greenhouse gas emissions and requires the state to achieve net zero emissions? here 2050?

To oppose.

10. New Mexico recently became the 17th state to regulate and tax recreational cannabis sales? What changes, if any, do you think should be made to the current law?

The new law came into effect two weeks ago. It’s too early to know how well it works.

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

Fully reduce these emergency powers. The legislature should be involved in determining when it should be enacted.

12. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its election laws and primary system? Do you support or oppose opening state primary elections to voters who are not affiliated with any of the major political parties?

All registered voters should be allowed to participate in the electoral process.

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

Yes. It is imperative that rural communities can participate and not be excluded from the process.

14. Do you support or oppose allowing an independent redistricting commission to perform the once-a-decade task of redrawing New Mexico’s political boundaries?

Support. Yes, enact a commission totally independent of the two major political parties.

Personal history

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been subject to any state or federal tax liens?


2. Have you ever been involved in personal or commercial bankruptcy proceedings?


3. Have you ever been arrested, charged, or convicted of a DUI, misdemeanor, or felony in New Mexico or any other state? If yes, explain.


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