Q&A: House District 17 Laura E. Lucero Y Ruiz De Gutierrez

  • NAME: Laura E. Lucero Y Ruiz De Gutierrez
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Independent contracting consultant
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: I have done the work a legislator has done as a citizen advocate and community organizer but file my own bill and vote yes or no. I have shepherded a bill commonly referred to as Michael’s Law through the Legislature and is now instrumental in developing policy that is now being considered for a PED rule change.
  • EDUCATION: BA Political Science, UNM, Expected Grad. Spring ’21

  1. What steps should the Legislature take to ensure New Mexico has a balanced budget amid falling oil prices and an economic downturn prompted by the coronavirus outbreak?

I will listen to my community for their wisdom and requests of economic development and wealth creation. It’s important to protect our whole community and support them where needed. Making cuts in a time of a pandemic is not wise. Government needs to ensure all get the same resources.

  1. What more, if anything, should the Legislature do to address a court ruling that found New Mexico is failing to provide a sufficient education to all students?

First, discontinue the practice of inequitable school funding. Second, state funding should not be reduced when school districts receive Impact aid. Finally, develop a uniform statewide system that monitors equal access of students at risk.

  1. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?

New Mexico’s gross receipts tax code needs additional exemptions for the gig economy workers. These essential work providers work very hard for little pay and do not deserve to have that taken away.

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

Yes, I support legalizing and taxation recreational marijuana. Amid falling oil prices it would add value to our economy, and the people of New Mexico want it. It would also further support our agriculture community.

  1. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and child care assistance, and created a new early childhood trust fund. 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 it.

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

I support open primary elections.

  1. Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?

I support overturning the ban. It is a travesty that it was not overturned during the 2019 legislative session.

  1. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding? Should each legislator be required to disclose which projects he or she funded?

No, I do not support a merit-based evaluation system. Yes, legislators should be required to disclose which projects are funded. It is important as government to be transparent to the people whom they represent.

  1. Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?

I strongly support all levels of government transparency. I understand first hand the importance of communicating with constituents about lobbyist opposition and support and to not be afforded the opportunity to have this knowledge.

  1. New Mexico is highly reliant on the oil and natural gas industries to generate revenue to fund state programs, as evidenced by recent oil boom and bust cycles. What are the things you would do to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?

I would work tirelessly to legalize marijuana and listen to my community for what they want in terms of wealth creation.

  1. 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 believe that every person has the right to die with dignity and updating this law to allow aid-in-dying is the right thing to do.

12: Would you support or oppose a moratorium on fracking? And should the state impose additional renewable energy mandates as a way to address climate change concerns?

Yes, I would support a moratorium on fracking. Yes, I would absolutely ask the state to impose additional renewable energy mandates as a way to address climate change. I would push the state to invest in a “JUST” transition as part of the mandate.

  1. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?

Crime needs to be addressed at the earliest onset. A plan needs to be developed that identifies and provides supports needed. The focus should be on the person’s ability to have a sense of belonging in the community. Supporting the person and their needs improves public safety.

  1. Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills? I oppose the practice of holding these closed-door meetings. I strongly support all levels of government transparency.

Personal background

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

Yes. I understand what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck and to be buried in student loan debt. It is not easy.

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

No.

  1. 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.

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