Michael Sanchez

Senate District 29

Affliation: D

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City: Belen

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? I do support the creation of a Commission with real power, because restoring public confidence in good government is essential. However, we must ensure there are adequate safeguards to prevent it from becoming a political weapon to be used against opponents. A thorough analysis must occur to avoid unintended consequences.

What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? I will continue to support bills that require disclosure of independent expenditures. Sources of "dark money" need to be revealed so that their influence in politics will decrease. The judiciary needs to be fully funded to provide necessary checks and balances of government.

Would you give permission to the Legislative Council Service to make publicly available the final amounts you personally allocate to various capital outlay projects? In order to strike a balance between the public's right to know how tax dollars are allocated and protecting LCS's confidentiality, I commit to posting my personal Capital Outlay Allocation on the Senate Democrats Website and will encourage the Senate Democrat Caucus to do the same.

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. The system can be improved, but any reform must ensure that the needs of rural areas like District 29 of the state are not ignored.

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. Since 2012, I have sponsored and supported legislation to allow a substantial and on-going distribution from the Permanent Fund for early childhood education. Research shows that investing early in our children is the best investment for a state's economic and social well-being. I will continue to advocate for it.

What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? Our economy will improve by creating a stronger middle class. I will continue to support legislation that gets small businesses access to tools they need to thrive. Failed corporate welfare policies are not the answer. We need more support for renewable energy and for infrastructure like our roads, highways, broadband internet, training, and education.

Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? As a first step, I support the decriminalizing of the use and possession of cannabis by adults for recreational purposes in New Mexico. Far too many people, especially young adults and minorities, are incarcerated today merely for recreational use of cannabis. We must substantially strengthen our systems for substance abuse treatment.