Bill B. O'Neill

Senate District 13

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 was disappointed that the House sponsored ethics commission bill perished in the Senate Rules Committee, as I think if it would have made it to the floor, it would have passed. I sponsored a similar bill when I was in the House in 2010.

What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? The bill referenced above would be a good start. Also, Senator Wirth's legislation calling for disclosure of donors to Super PAC's needs to be passed and signed into law as well.

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. And have done so.

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 certainly am open to discussion as to how to improve our capital outlay procedure, and do support Senator Rue's bill from last session calling for public disclosure of our capital outlay decisions. I strongly believe, however, that no one knows the needs of the legislative district better than the Representative or Senator of that district -- if they are doing their job-- and so have a major issue with appointing some outside, Governor appointed committee to make these crucial decisions.

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, and I have supported and will continue to support such legislation that taps a modest percentage of our Land Grant Permanent Fund to achieve this aim of early childhood development. The research supports the effectiveness of these programs, and it needs to be passed and signed into law.

What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? For starters, I would reverse the baffling vetos issued by our current Governor on the solar tax credit bill as well as the industrial hemp bill, both of which passed by overwhelming bi-partisan margins in the House and Senate in 2015. We need to move towards a more diversified economy, and developing the potential of these two emerging economic sectors is a glaring example of what could be done.

Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? Yes. Other states are taking advantage of this national trend and their honest admission that the War Against Drugs has been a failure. We also have the unique opportunity to learn from the experience of the couple of states that have gone down this road, and so will be able to anticipate the inevitable regulatory and implementation concerns. The potential tax revenue for NM through legalization cannot be ignored.