Elizabeth L. Thomson

House District 24

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. As several recent events have shown us, there is a great need for a watchdog for elected and appointed officials. Extreme care must be taken to ensure true independence, not allowing for political allegiances or grudges to interfere. Legislation must be well crafted and bullet proof.

What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? All executive/legislative officials must adhere to a strict set of rules, including use of official channels for official business, email for example. All legislative committee and floor sessions must be webcast and archived. Elected and appointed officials who receive a salary must share their work calendars publicly.

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 was very proud of the projects I helped support, to benefit my district and New Mexico as a whole, including schools, emergency vehicles, and libraries. I have nothing to hide.

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. A master plan would be beneficial, with a non-partisan work group or committee to determine the needs. It must always be fair- rural vs. urban, location, demographics and many more factors must be considered. Unspent dollars need to be returned as soon as practicable. Prosecute pay-to-play.

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. Without a doubt, early childhood education is the best investment possible. It will reduce crime and child abuse, while improving education, creating jobs, and more. I am in favor of using a small portion of the Land Grant Permanent Fund, allowing voters to decide if that is how we can move forward immediately.

What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? Improve our educational system including early childhood. Invest in renewable energy. NM should be a leader in this. Review all tax and fiscal policies and get rid of those that are not working and expand those that are high-performing. Government contracts should have a strong NM preference.

Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? Yes. Many New Mexicans are already using it. It could bring in millions of tax dollars, while reducing costs for law enforcement and corrections. People would not be branded as criminals, making it easier for them to secure gainful employment, resulting in decreased human services costs.