Stephanie Garcia Richard

House District 43

Affliation: D

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City: Los Alamos

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. With continuous ethics violations occurring with our elected officials, it is time to pass an Independent Ethics Commission and expand the scope of the Open Meetings Act to ensure transparency. During my time as a Legislator, I’ve supported measures such as HJR 5, to establish a commission.

What measures would you take to make New Mexico state government transparent, accessible and accountable to the public? I have and will continue to support efforts to: Increase accountability and disclosure of campaign spending and disclosure of lobbyist donations by cosponsoring the Lobbyist Reporting Act (HB 155); Increased accountability and disclosure of state contract by cosponsoring updates to the Sunshine Portal Act (SB 537); and archiving of legislative hearings (HR 1)

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 have already and will continue to make my capital outlay projects public. Please reference the attached article from your own publication: http://nmindepth.com/2015/12/16/12-nm-state-lawmakers-agree-to-share-publicly-capital-outlay-money/

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. I agree that the system needs reform. Capital improvement projects should be prioritized and fully funded. However, I would caution stripping money from smaller counties that rely heavily on capital outlay to survive. Abandoning the current system would require safeguards to ensure local needs, like acequias, are still funded.

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. New Mexico should ensure that all children of pre-Kindergarten age have access to early childhood education. We must create new funding sources to expand this program and one way would be by using an increased distribution from the Land Grant Permanent Fund, which was originally designated for educational use.

What measures would you take to improve the state's long-term economy? We need to move away from oil & gas and diversify our economy by leveraging the resources and expertise of the national labs and research universities to grow our high tech job sectors through tech transfer programs, the Local Economic Development Act, Job Training Incentive Program, and High Wage Jobs Tax credits.

Would you support the legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use in New Mexico? Why or why not? As stated above, resources for early childhood education are crucial to the success of our state and economic development. As we have seen in other states, legalization of cannabis has generated increased state revenues for programs such as education. I support a ballot measure allowing voters to decide on legalization.