Editor’s note: The Clovis News Journal asked District 64 State Representative candidates to answer the following questions in 300 words or less. The answers were edited for spelling and style. The primary is June 3.
Name: Anna Crook
Age: Did not disclose.
Occupation: Property manager, former fashion consultant.
Running for: State Representative, District 64.
Party affiliation: Republican.
Elected offices held: Current Dist. 64 Representative.
What type of economic development suits eastern New Mexico best, and how could you as a legislator facilitate it?
Economic development that suits eastern New Mexico are entities that are not water intensive. I must praise our economic development committee (Clovis Industrial Development Corporation) for the recruitment of businesses that are well suited for our area. Examples are Southwest Cheese, the expansion of the railroad, new restaurants and hotels, to mention a few.
Our community has done a marvelous job of recruiting businesses that provide good jobs for our area, and they continue to do so. The Legislature is able to help by providing job credits and tax credits to businesses that are willing to locate here. We can provide incentives for businesses to locate or relocate to our area.
How familiar are you with the Ute Water Project? What can the state Legislature do to move the project along?
I am very familiar with the Ute Water Project. I have served on the Water and Natural Resource Interim Committee for the past 13 years. The Ute Water Project has been on the forefront ever since I have been on the committee. I have carried legislation for different methods of funding the project. I provided capital outlay money this past session to help with some of the infrastructure for the Ute Water Project. There has been much support for the project as legislators have been educated as to the need for the project for the area. We will continue to push for the project and with the help of the local, state and federal government see the project become a reality.
What do you propose doing to help New Mexico schools? Is the current funding formula working?
New Mexico schools can be added to the list for economic development. Schools are at the top of the list when businesses look at an area to locate. It is very important to have a good school system. We all have a role to play in providing a good education for our young people. We look to our educators for providing the academics our children need to be successful in life. It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children to be good, obedient students in the classroom in order that they can receive the education provided them. It is the obligation of the Legislature to help make this possible from the education standpoint, and letting parents parent in order their children be the best they can be.
I was not on the committee to study the funding formula, but those that were agreed it was a better and more equitable formula. We must find an innovative method for funding the formula.
Gov. Richardson has been pretty adamant about a health care plan, and has gone so far as to threaten a special session. How can health care be improved in the state?
Again, I am a believer in personal responsibility. We all know health care is expensive. The numbers we were told was there are more than 400,000 individuals without access to health care. This number is not exactly correct. There are individuals that have access to health care, but have not taken advantage or applied to the sources to access the available health care. Health can be improved in the state by personal responsibility of a healthy diet, exercise and being responsible for one’s well-being. Universal health care has not been that successful in other countries and other states so why are we to believe it will be successful in New Mexico, and the next question is how do we pay for it?
Regarding state infrastructure, what areas need the most improvement or repairs, and how can the state pay for such needs?
The most pressing infrastructure need is for our roads and highway improvement. I support having the excise tax go to the road fun versus the general fund. We must look at other revenues for funding our roads.
What is something you felt the Legislature has not adequately handled, and how would you approach it?
The cost of funding state government is enormous. It is much like our personal lives. We could do so much more if we had the funds. Medicaid, health care, education and corrections consume a huge portion of the budget. Since we do not have an unlimited budget, it is imperative we curb spending and operate within our budget.