Antonio "Moe" Maestas

House District 16

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’ve always voted yes for an independent ethics commission since my first year in 2007. It’s going to take strong bicameral support and a legislative push from the executive branch to get it done. That’s why we need Maggie Toulouse Oliver as our next Secretary of State.

What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? I founded West Side Day at the Roundhouse which brings approximately 500 students to the capital each year. We must make every legislative hearing accessible on public access TV and we must do a better job utilized technology to give people better opportunities to communicate with and influence legislators.

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.

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. Yes. Public works projects are very important to building New Mexico’s infrastructure and improving our economy. I introduced HB 223 (2010) to try to better track these projects to get them completed. The main problem that needs addressing is implementation. Projects must be fully funded and completed within one year.

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. Absolutely. Investing in early childhood development is a moral imperative. That’s why I’ll continue introducing a constitutional amendment shaving 1% off the top of our land grant permanent fund for early childhood programs. I passed a constitutional amendment in 2014 (HJR16) to assist State Investment Council better manage the fund.

What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? Invest in human capital, particularly early childhood development. Better access to capital by investing portion of permanent funds ($20 billion) into low-interest housing and business loans. Strengthen our current economic comparative advantages (e.g., rail, tourism, trade with Latin America). Teach every student to be bi-lingual. Massive broadband investment. Legalize hemp.

Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? Yes. We must re-examine the war on drugs and admit it is an abject public policy failure. NM has numerous other states to learn from in crafting the best cannabis laws in the country. It will increase our tax base while freeing up law enforcement to concentrate on violent crimes.