Q&A: House District 43 candidate Lisa Shin

  • NAME: Lisa Shin
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Optometrist
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Health care provider and small business owner for 21 years
  • EDUCATION: Wellesley College, B.A.; Pennsylvania College of Optometry, O.D.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.lisasfor43.com

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

1. Prioritize vocational education and technical-career training. There is a serious gap when it comes to “middle-skills” in New Mexico. Ease the regulatory and tax burden on small businesses. New Mexico currently ranks at the bottom for “business friendliness”; we have to change that.

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

Support three strikes laws such as House Bill 18 and House Bill 28, which addressed the high rates of violent & property crime in New Mexico. Provide the resources and support to first responders at a crime scene. Mayor Keller’s plan to use new technology in the fight against gun-related violence is promising.

New Mexico now spends about $300 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?

I oppose such an amendment. Studies show that distributions greater than 5 percent, risks the Fund’s long-term solvency.

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

I oppose state-wide legalization of recreational marijuana. I support the use of medical marijuana for treatment of diseases where it has been proven to be a successful homeopathic alternative to pharmaceuticals.

Do you support or oppose raising New Mexico’s minimum wage, currently $7.50 per hour? If so, by how much?

I support a minimum wage increase to no more than $9.00/hour in 2019, with modest incremental changes over time. Our Mom-and-Pop businesses simply cannot survive a $12/hour minimum wage law.

What steps would you propose taking to ensure the future solvency of New Mexico’s two public retirement systems?

We may be forced to shift toward individual retirement accounts, where employees pay in and manage their own investments, as Rep. Larry Scott has proposed.

Would you support making state workers and teachers pay more into the pension funds?

I would support voluntary; not mandatory; increases into employees’ pension funds.

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

My opponent has a record of stopping local elections, as well as ignoring their outcomes. I support each individual’s right to have a vote in any election, which give the citizens a voice in our government.

Do you support or oppose appealing a state judge’s recent decision that said New Mexico has fallen short of meeting its constitutional requirement to provide a sufficient education to all students? And what percentage of the state budget, in your opinion, should go toward K-12 public schools?

I oppose an appeal. I support modest increases to our state’s educational budget. Senator Morales has proposed using our “scarce public dollars for proven methods of bettering education: small class sizes, more professional development for educators, more books, librarians, nurses, counselors, and instructors for art, dance, and music” over PARCC testing.

Do you support or oppose the current policy of including student test scores as part of teacher evaluations? If you support the policy, what percentage of the evaluation should the test scores account for? If you do not support using test scores, what should the teacher evaluations be based on?

Yes, I support this policy. It should be a small percentage of a bigger picture, and it should be a percentage that has broad support from the teachers.

Do you support or oppose updating the current prohibition in the law on assisted suicide in order to allow aid-in-dying under certain medical circumstances?

I oppose assisted suicide legislation.

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

NMSU student government proposed a “graduated awarding system,”in which awards would be smaller for freshmen, and grow over 4 years as students worked toward graduation. Expand the gap period from 16 to 24 months. Expand online education. Currently, offerings for web-based higher education are limited and expensive.

Do you favor making New Mexico a sanctuary state?

No. I do not support such a policy.

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


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?

Yes, I support eliminating some exemptions and deductions. We should broaden the base and lower the overall rate, for a more fair, equitable tax system.

What would you support to make New Mexico schools safer?

I support voluntary and lawful possession of concealed weapons on school campuses, by trained faculty and staff. Strengthen our NICS (National Instant Background Check System), to ensure that our states release criminal and mental health records to the NICS.

In light of recent cuts, would you support or oppose increasing funding for the University of New Mexico athletics program, even if that meant possibly reducing funding for other institutions?

I would need to look at the budget and finances before making that determination.

Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?


Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?


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.