Gerald Ortiz y Pino

Senate District 12

Affliation: D

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City: Albuquerque

Would you vote for the creation of an Independent Ethics Commission to provide oversight of the executive and legislative branches of government in New Mexico? Yes I would in light of the Martinez administration's many ethically-challenged decisions which have pointed out how ill-prepared we are to handle such behavior by either legislators or administration officials.

What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? Sunshine portal is a good start but it needs to be made far more user-friendly. Mandatory public financing of elections would make elected officials more accountable to the public rather than their financial backers.

Would you give permission to the Legislative Council Service to make publicly available the final amounts you personally allocate to various capital outlay projects? Yes--I did already.

If you think reform of the capital outlay system is needed, how would you reform it? If you don't think reform is needed, give us your reasons. I do think we need some reforms. Too many critical needs in the state go unattended. The Public School Capital outlay process might be the model to follow. I think the administration (of all Governors) has been more likely to abuse the system than legislators have.

Does New Mexico need to invest more in early childhood development? If you think it does, in your opinion what is the best way to invest? If you don't think New Mexico needs to invest more, tell us why. Yes--it has a very high return on investment ratio. We try to increase our funding incrementally, as we can afford a bit more from general fund. That simply condemns thousands of NM kids to having to go without. I favor increasing the amount we draw off the land grant permanent fund and setting up these programs fully funded for all.

What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? 1. Legalize marijuana and hemp production. 2. Fully utilize NM's wonderful solar and wind energy resources. 3. Make a concerted effort to confront our state's growing backlog of critical infrastructure problems by rebuilding roads, bridges, dams and public buildings, putting thousands to work there. 4. Institute statewide programs in industrial education in our secondary schools to provide ourstate with a skilled work force.

Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? Yes! It would save many young lives now ruined by our disastrous war on drugs. It would save money now wasted on police, prosecution and incarceration of marijuana users. It would create a high value crop for NM farmers. It would reduce violence and crime. It would generate a new revenue stream for NM through tax on this product.