NM House District 13 candidate Patricia Roybal Caballero

  • NAME: Patricia Roybal Caballero
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Retired
  • PLACE OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • EDUCATION: BA, Dual MA’s in Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) & Public Administration (MPA). Ph.D, in progress.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Patricia4nm.com

What are the top two things you would do to improve the economy in New Mexico ?

Raise the minimum wage to at least $15/hour to a livable wage; diversify the economy to include state incentives promoting New Mexico based/owned manufacturing and clean renewable energy industries; strengthen state’s lending capacity for small businesses development and expansion; focus on apprenticeship approaches establishing pathways from training to job placement, building a strong blue/white collar workforce.

What are the top two things you would propose to address the state’s high crime rate ?

Add more resources to strengthening our prosecutorial capacity by restructuring our laws, sentencing statutes and prisons for hardened criminals. Provide mental health services to inmates, focused on rehabilitation and safe, healthy re-entry strategies, add training programs geared toward prospects for employment upon re-entry.

How would you address the state’s high DWI rate ?

Strengthen rehabilitation access and services for alcohol, drug and mental health illnesses and addiction promoting more education toward the health and safety dangers of irresponsible use.

New Mexico now spends about $270 million a year for early childhood programs, such as home visiting, pre-kindergarten and child care assistance. Do you support or oppose a constitutional amendment that would withdraw more money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to increase funding for early childhood services ?

Yes, I support a constitutional amendment which supports more early childhood education and programs using the Land Grant Permanent Fund.

Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales ?

I fully support marijuana use for medicinal purposes. I do, however, reserve support of legalizing recreational use until I and the state do further research on the effects of its use and long term use. I also think we need to get more of an idea of what our constituencies feel about this topic.

Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party ?

I do not support opening the primary elections.

Do you support or oppose raising New Mexico’s minimum wage, currently $7. 50 per hour? If so, by how much ?

I wholeheartedly support raising the state’s minimum wage to at least $15/hour.

Do you support or oppose basing any percentage of a teacher’s performance evaluation on student test scores ? Explain.

I oppose basing teacher’s performance evaluation on student test scores and I oppose the state’s current over testing of our students which has produced little to no progress overall in our student’s capacity to learn and think critically.

Do you support merit bonuses for teachers who do well on their evaluations? Do you believe unions should have the authority to block such bonuses ?

I do not believe merit bonuses should be associated with teacher evaluations as long as evaluations are tied to student’s test scores. I believe unions have the authority to do whatever their membership dictates them to do.

Do you think having 32 state institutions of higher education is too many? What would you propose to make higher education more efficient ?

The number of institutions of higher learning is totally dependent on serving the needs of the communities as determined in planning, development and budgetary goals established by communities and institutions. There is no one magic number.

How should the state’s lottery scholarship program be kept solvent into the future ?

Our lottery should reduce overall management costs and seek higher yield interest rates.

Do you support or oppose making New Mexico a so-called right-to-work state, by changing state labor laws so that nonunion employees would not have to pay union fees as a condition of employment ?

I absolutely oppose making New Mexico a right to work state.

Do you favor making New Mexico a sanctuary state ?

New Mexico has always been a welcoming and sanctuary state by the very nature of its strong culturally diverse native populations. These cultures embrace and welcome immigrants, refugees and families as extensions of our own families. So, yes, I do favor making New Mexico a sanctuary state.

If an Ethics Commission is approved by voters, at what point do you think ethics complaints should become public ?

Ethics complaints should follow due process affording all parties protections and fairness in the policies and procedures. The Ethics Commission should ensure this process and determine when it becomes public which I believe has to be done on a case by case basis.

Do you believe the initial police incident reports and videos of arrests and crime scenes should be public ?

Yes, it is critical to preserve the record before subject to any attempts to alter or unforeseen circumstances leading to any altering, as we have seen to be the case in Albuquerque and in other parts of the country.

The state faces balloon payments on its Rail Runner debt in 2025 and 2026, a federal requirement for tens of millions of dollars in safety upgrades for the train, and declining ridership. On the other hand, the train is popular with the commuters who rely on it, and the Rail Runner may seek federal funding for the safety changes. Do you support continuing operation of the Rail Runner ?

Public transportation should always be supported particularly to promote easing air contaminants and to provide affordable means of transportation. I do support continuing the operation of the Rail Runner and more affordable financing should be researched as well as improved, cost effective means of marketing and overall improvement of management.

Do you favor imposing a gross receipts tax on all internet sales ?

It is only fair to tax internet sales business to be on a level playing field with brick and mortar businesses.

New Mexico has more than 100 exemptions and deductions in its gross receipts tax system. Would you favor eliminating some or all of them as part of an attempt to lower the base rate? If so, which ones? If not, why ?

New Mexico must overhaul its tax system which includes examining the gross receipts tax and personal income tax system and eliminate exemptions and deductions which favor some and not others and eliminate those that are not revenue wise for our state.

What would you support to make New Mexico schools safer? Would that include changing New Mexico’s gun laws? If so, what specific changes to the gun laws would you support ?

Ultimately, our efforts are geared toward school and community safety. There should be a more comprehensive background check system which ensures prohibiting gun access to those with certain mental health and other issues that would place them in at-risk situations that could endanger themselves or others.

Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens ? No.

Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding ? No.

Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state ? If so, explain. No.