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. Not only is this supported by an overwhelming number of New Mexicans, but forty-two states have taken the initiative to establish their own Independent Ethics Commission. All measures must and should be taken to create true transparency and accountability from our elected officials.
What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? I am in favor of recording/archiving legislative floor and committee sessions and having legislator votes listed in a way that is easily accessible to the public—which would also list the number of votes a legislator has walked-out on or abstained. I believe all elected/appointed officials should be required to complete a comprehensive ethics training prior to being sworn into office or qualifying for per diem.
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 am in favor of transparency measures that ensure fairness and accountability.
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. Capital outlay should be made available only when agencies/organizations have met all qualifications proving their eligibility to receive such funding, including the proof that any previous capital outlay funds have either been used or returned. In addition, a policy should be implemented that would require that all unused funds revert to the general fund by a specific deadline (based on project/timeline to complete project). A fiscal report should be provided and made public, to show how funds were used and what impact they had on the community.
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. Investment in early childhood education helps to strengthen the economy. Studies and research has shown that the most critical time for cognitive development is from ages 0-5. By investing early, children have a greater opportunity for success. Early investments in education help create economic growth, reduce the need for social services later on, and reduce crime rates. I would support allowing for the constitutional amendment regarding the Land Grant Permanent Fund to be made available to voters to decide.
What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? Renewable energy is a billion dollar industry, and something New Mexico must invest in immediately. Ranking last in education is not acceptable, therefore we must do everything possible to rebuild and strengthen our education system and work towards building a skilled and trained workforce (start early on). We must invest here at home, by supporting small businesses and encouraging entrepreneurship opportunities that keep New Mexicans in-state.
Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? Following many discussions with the constituents of District 15, this is a topic that requires further information as to the impacts (good/bad) experienced by states that have already made it legal. While many have argued in favor of the economic benefits, I believe that the overall long-term health/community impacts must also be taken into consideration. However, I do support the use of cannabis for medical purposes.