As elected officials, we need to set aside party labels and do what's right for New Mexico, and that's what I've done—and will continue to do.
Jobs and the Economy
We need to diversify our economy, and move away from boom-and-bust extractive industries, by focusing on renewable energy, tourism, and high-tech businesses started right here in New Mexico. Our economic development incentives should reflect these priorities, by:
Fostering an economic climate that stimulates job growth. A sound and predictable economic climate includes simplifying our tax code and the gross receipts tax rate in a fair and revenue-neutral manner.
Making sure our economic development incentives, including the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) and the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP), are accessible to small businesses, local businesses, and service businesses. In addition, key retail sectors (like grocery stores, drug stores, and hardware stores) should be eligible for support in rural, underserved communities.
Raising the minimum wage so that every New Mexican can earn a living wage and build a better future for their families. There is no excuse for our state to permit someone working 40+ hours a week to live in poverty. We can, and should, do more.
Growing our renewable energy sector with investments in wind and solar energy, and with tax credits for communities and businesses that make those investments. Not only are these good, common-sense investments for our state’s economic future, they can also help us put a real dent in climate change, and help preserve our natural environment.
After 8 years of the Martinez administration’s assault on public education, our school system needs to be fixed. Every year we lose more high-quality teachers and deprive our kids of the opportunities of a world-class education. My mother sacrificed so that I could have the opportunity of a good education, and I want my children to have all of the opportunities I’ve had—and more. The problems with our education system are clear, and the solutions are simple. Here’s how we do it:
Early childhood education helps provide our children with a lifetime of opportunities. The evidence shows that investments in early childhood education pay for themselves—with interest—even decades later. We need to use the Land Grant Permanent Fund for its intended purpose—education—to provide high-quality early childhood education, building a foundation for all New Mexican children.
I had the benefit of teachers who were real heroes, and I refuse to believe they were the exceptions in our system. We need to stand with our educators by increasing teacher pay and reducing class sizes, so they can provide the highest quality education possible to our kids.
We must stop the War on Teachers. Our educators are professionals, who work day in and day out because they care about children. We have to reduce the burden of standardized testing on teachers and students, so that teachers aren’t just teaching to the test, and have the freedom to bring individuality and creativity back to their classrooms.
Energy, Our Environment, and Water
We have to recognize that climate change is real, and deadly serious. Unfortunately, our national government has given up on our promises to reduce the impact of climate change, and our state and local governments have to pick up the reins. Our already arid landscape is especially vulnerable to climate change here in New Mexico, and we have to do everything we can to preserve and protect our natural environment, wildlife, and farms and ranches. We can step up by:
Moving away from extractive, nonrenewable energy and towards renewable energy like solar and wind. Not only is this a great way to tackle climate change, it’s also a great investment in our local economy.
Increasing New Mexico’s renewable portfolio standards for our utilities so we use more the energy we generate in New Mexico here at home.
Continuing to provide incentives to develop our renewable energy potential, like tax credits, RPS standards, and incentives for distributed (household) and community solar development.
Supporting the methane rule, which cuts wastes and improves state royalty payments, creates jobs, and protects the health of our communities from unnecessary and dangerous pollution.
Many of the worst problems in our state have origins in our healthcare system. After 8 years of the Martinez administration’s attack on our public health system, we have a lot of rebuilding to do. Here’s how we start:
Re-investing in our behavioral health programs around the state. We can’t hope to have a positive impact on mental and behavioral health without a robust system to provide care to those who need it most, and who are least able to acquire help on their own.
Protect and expand our investments in women’s health. While some of our local governments have worked to protect and expand women’s healthcare and reproductive care, with the prospect of the most conservative Supreme Court in years on the horizon our state is at real risk of serving as the last line of defense for women’s healthcare. We have to enshrine protections for women’s health in law—by overturning our state ban on abortion, investing in healthcare providers and research, and working to provide access and affordability to the most vulnerable New Mexicans.
Our rural healthcare system has been eroded over time, and it’s vitally important that we work to provide accessible, affordable, high-quality healthcare to all of our communities—not just those in urban areas. We can provide incentives for doctors to practice in underserved communities such as offsetting the cost of medical school for those who work in rural New Mexico, and structure Medicaid payouts to provide care in the communities that need local care the most.
Ethics and Transparency
We’ve seen enough of corruption and bad government here in New Mexico. It’s the job of our state legislature and next governor to rein in these problems.
As your State Representative, I sponsored the Public Corruption Act and the Elected Official Pension Forfeiture Act, which would take state pensions away from corrupt public officials.
I've sponsored legislation to fix an unconstitutional limitation on free speech that is currently contained within our Public Records Act, as well as legislation to bring needed transparency to our capital outlay process.
I've supported an independent ethics commission, which would investigate allegations of misconduct and corruption, holding all elected officials accountable to the public.
I support fair redistricting—through the establishment of an independent redistricting commission—so that voters choose their elected officials, and not the other way around.
I sponsored legislation to expand public financing for elections (which currently only covers candidates for the Public Regulation Commission and state-wide judgeships) to include candidates for secretary of state, because the state's top campaign finance enforcement official should not be raising money from the same system she's regulating.