City: Las Cruces
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 think the Commission would be a valuable resource for both the executive and legislative branches. This would establish guidelines so that government servants would have a clear understanding of what is expected. Consideration should be given to include oversight of election campaign practices as well!
What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? I think the steps to have the committee meetings broadcast and archived are important to improving public access to the discussions and votes made by the Legislators. Consideration should be given to finding ways to include meaningful citizen input for those who cannot attend legislative sessions.
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 think it’s important for constituents to know where a legislator is allocating funds, regardless of the legislator’s district.
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 do believe the capital outlay system needs to be reformed, not because any legislators have misappropriated funds, but because our resources are stretched so thin. We must prioritize their use for the most needed and beneficial projects throughout the state and not for pet projects or reciprocation of favors.
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, we definitely need to invest more in early childhood education. This is the most valuable learning period in a person’s life, birth to 2.5 years. If we can train parents and other caregivers to use teaching opportunities during a child’s day, we can encourage and develop brighter and more curious children, enhancing their learning curve greatly and for the rest of their lives. This investment in children’s early learning will positively impact their not just their own success, but also the future of our economy and society as a whole.
What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? For too long we have been dependent on our resources of oil and gas to support our economy. We need increased investment in our renewable energy resources as well. That will improve the long term economy and also ensure that new opportunities such as solar, wind and geothermal will be developed as sustainable resources for energy and jobs. We can close certain tax loop holes such as the capital gains tax for the wealthy that is at a much lower rate than most hard working taxpayers pay. I also support a higher earned income tax credit for working families and investing in infrastructure, especially in the border areas, to grow the volume of imports and exports.
Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? We have seen how states like Colorado gained economically from the well-regulated and taxed sales of cannabis. Legalization should only apply to adults, with clear and enforceable restrictions for those underage. It would also eliminate penalties that have put many of our fellow citizens in prison needlessly, at a huge cost to taxpayers, as well as denying children the benefits of having their parent to care for them.