Q&A: House District 31 candidate Bill Rehm

House of Representatives Candidate District 31 Bill Rehm (Courtesy of Bill Rehm)

SURNAME: William R Rehm


OCCUPATION: NM state representative since 2006, private investigator, traffic accident reconstructionist and police course instructor – since 1994; retired Captain Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department 2000


RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: FBI National Academy Graduate – December 1995; Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department – awarded the Julian Narvaez Memorial Award and Sheriff Officer of the Quarter; Albuquerque Police Department – awarded Metal of Meritorious Service; New Mexico House of Representatives since 2006, currently Certified Law Enforcement Instructor; current reserve constable (volunteer) Bernalillo County Sheriff Department and NM Mounted Patrol; Former AYSO Football Board Member — AYSO Coach and Coach Educator — AYSO Referee and Referee Educator; Former Criminal Justice TVI (CNM) Instructor

TRAINING: Graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1995; University of Albuquerque – BA 1975; Highland High School – 1968


1. New Mexico relies heavily on the oil and natural gas industry to generate revenue to fund government programs, as evidenced by recent oil boom and bust cycles. What steps should lawmakers take to diversify the economy and government revenue base?

Over 40% of our budget comes from this income. We need to develop a coherent vision for how New Mexico can shift the trajectory from natural resource investments to decarbonization, while allowing oil and gas to play a role because of the revenue they generate for this state.

2. During the last regular legislature there was an unsuccessful push to make it easier to keep certain accused behind bars pending trial. Should New Mexico law be changed to make it easier to hold people accused of violent crimes, such as first-degree murder and child molestation, behind bars pending trial?

Yes, stop the catch and let go. In 2016 we passed the bail bond reform and were told by the court that it would make our community safer. It has not. Since 2018 I have introduced laws to keep violent criminals in prison. Defenders oppose this law and have prevented its passage.

3. Given that New Mexico faces one of the highest rates of violent crime in the nation, what steps should lawmakers take to address crime and public safety?

Stop the catch and let go. Amending the 3-strikes legislation to give a life sentence to criminals who injure or kill three separate times. We need to increase mental health reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to deter gun purchases. In 2021, I passed legislation increasing the sentence for felons who own firearms and use a firearm in the commission of a crime.

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4. In light of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision, Roe v. Wade to repeal the codification of abortion protections in state laws? And do you support or oppose the introduction of abortion restrictions in New Mexico?

I understand why we need an early abortion. I oppose late abortion (with some caveats) that justifies ending the life of a viable child in a failed abortion where the child is born alive. Late abortions put women at higher risk of surgical complications and mental health problems.

5. New Mexico has implemented several gun control laws in recent years. Would you support or oppose legislation banning or restricting the sale of AR-15 style semi-automatic weapons such as: B. raising the age limit for the purchase of such weapons? And what about legislation that criminalizes failing to safely secure firearms around children?

Federal law just expanded background checks to people under the age of 21. Mandatory locked storage was found unconstitutional in the US Supreme Court’s Heller decision (2008). New Mexico child abuse and contribution to underage crime laws can be used to prosecute parents who endanger a child with drugs or dangerous weapons.

6. The state agency charged with keeping children safe in New Mexico has recently come under scrutiny over transparency issues and its handling of high profile child abuse cases. What changes would you support to improve the work of the Children, Youth and Family Department?

CYFD must now take action to protect our most vulnerable children through transparency and ending conflicting policies or procedures. Termination of the confidentiality clause that prevents the disclosure of internal errors. We need to implement an independent third-party appeals mechanism that can be used quickly by anyone concerned about CYFD action (or lack thereof).

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

We need to broaden the base and lower the overall GRT rate. We must also eliminate the tax pyramid and lower the personal income tax rate. We need to fundamentally overhaul our tax system and create one that drives entrepreneurship and job creation while being fair, simple and efficient.

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8. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay a salary to its legislators, although legislators can receive daily payments and qualify for a state pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried legislature, and if so, how much should the legislature be paid?

Our founding fathers saw legislative work as an honor and a civic duty. Other lawmakers pay anywhere from $100 to just over $114,000 per year. If we had to pay our lawmakers what would be next? “It’s not enough and we deserve more.”

9. What else, if anything, should lawmakers do to challenge a court ruling that found New Mexico does not provide an adequate education for all students, particularly Native Americans and those who do not speak English as a first language?

In the last 10 years, the state has spent over $30 billion on education, but we still come last. States with school choice during this period have seen measurable improvements. Until parents are given free choice of school, New Mexico will be at the mercy of a failing system.

10. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs such as home visitation, pre-kindergarten and child care assistance and established a new early childhood care trust. Do you support or oppose the proposed constitutional amendment in the November vote that would pull more money from the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-12 education?

Reject. Early childhood funding increased from $136.5 million in fiscal 2012 to $578.9 million in fiscal 2023 — 324% — with money unspent. During the 2020 legislature, we created the Early Childhood Education and Care Fund. Right now the fund has over $2 billion — $3.5 billion next year. Everything for early childhood programs.

11. Do you support or oppose greenhouse gas emission cap laws that require the state to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 to address climate change and air quality?

Current net-zero policies will impoverish our citizens. Our rural communities do not have access to the infrastructure required for electric vehicles, which cost up to 50% more than gas-powered vehicles. We must implement policies that provide incentives for renewable energy adoption while protecting our communities from energy poverty.

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12. Do you think changes to a governor’s emergency powers should be made during a pandemic or other time of crisis? If so, do you think such powers should be increased or reduced and in what specific way?

Yes. I co-sponsored legislation for Legislative Involvement after 60 days of an emergency. Currently, the governor can allocate $750,000 per emergency. This must be increased. Lawmakers must play a role in ensuring that these powers are not abused and that the separation of powers that is vital to our democratic system of government is not undermined.

13. Would you support a performance-based rating system to determine how governments are spending their investment funds?

no All taxpayers from across the state deserve their fair share of what is spent on them. This would mean that the wealthier areas would not get their fair share because they have a larger tax base to fall back on for their capital improvements.

14. Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claim that he is the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election? (Please only yes or no answers)


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

Need for consistency between districts in training and consistency in where challengers and observers are housed relative to those who process the ballots. State secretaries or district officials will conduct the training of the challengers and observers. Clearer rules on the required information on the outer envelope for accepting mail in ballots.

personal background

1. If you are a business owner, have you or your business ever been subject to a state or federal tax lien?

When I learned that my former business partner caused a $147.00 state business tax lien (1997), the lien was paid immediately (1997) and that person was fired from my business.

2. Have you ever been involved in personal or company insolvency proceedings?


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


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