If there's one thing we can all agree on, in a non-partisan fashion, it's that our State Government can work better for New Mexicans. Not taking anything away from our hard working state employees, but Government can always be improved and should be nimble to change, as the needs of our citizens change. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. State Government is tasked with delivering services all around New Mexico; but with such a geographically and culturally diverse State like ours, government doesn't always deliver a product that reflects that diversity or the various needs of our different communities. Our elected leaders have to take greater responsibility for evaluating the services we have to offer to ensure we are getting quality, and not just quantity.
Sadly, many of our elected leaders are failing our citizens. New Mexico continues to experience a brain drain because of their failure to create jobs for our youth to remain in New Mexico --- and nowhere is impacted more than rural areas like House District 40. Our State is constantly investing and permitting new projects in our metropolitan areas; spending $2 million here, $10 million there. Then they turn around and have the audacity to give our small communities $25,000 for a "shovel ready" project that has a $1.5 million price tag. Where's OUR equity in the process?! Our state's biggest city, Albuquerque, can't seem to get a handle on it's crime problem which not only impacts their ability to grow their economy, lure new investment and create jobs, but is has Statewide implications that keep our rural communities economically struggling as well.
We continue to see the Urban/Rural divide in New Mexico growing larger and larger. We need a State Representative who will stand up against any effort that tries to radically restructure the makeup of New Mexico's boards & commissions (like the Game Commission, Livestock Board & Public Regulation Commission). Legislators, like Rep. Matt McQueen & Sen. Jeff Steinborn, carry bills year after year that that would remove the representation from our rural areas, just to have us "represented" by someone from Santa Fe, Albuquerque or Las Cruces. I'll stand against these types of measures that discriminate against our rural traditions, values and way of life, even if those attacks come from my own party! We must put Norteños first no matter what!
As your State Representative:
I would sponsor a Constitutional Amendment that would restructure the New Mexico Senate to require one Senator per county (33) with the remaining Senators (9) divided among the counties containing the largest populations (Example: Bern - 4, DA - 2, Sand - 1, SF - 1, SJ - 1).
I would sponsor legislation that creates an exemption for municipalities (with a population of 3500 or less) to hire retired Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) from the state or a county agency that are receiving PERA benefits. (Retired LEO's in this program would not pay into PERA and would be capped on hours and pay rate.)