Q&A: Senate District 9 Kevin Lucero

  • NAME: Kevin Lucero
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Deputy sheriff, Bernalillo County
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Corrales
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 27 years of public service
  • EDUCATION: High school 
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: kevin4nm.com

  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?
This economic recession is unprecedented and has impacted all of us, so we are going to have to make cuts, but these cuts need to be done with a scalpel, not a hacksaw. Sacrifices will have to be made, but we don’t want to enact drastic austerity measures that will hurt future generations. 

 

  1. What more, if anything, should the Legislature do to address a court ruling that found New Mexico is failing to provide sufficient education to all students?
We are lucky to have so many incredible teachers in NM and we need to ensure that they receive salaries that reflect their value. Preserving the three-tiered licensure system and minimum salaries for each level must be raised to reflect the cost of living: $45,000 Level One, $55,000 Level Two, and $65,000 Level Three.

 

  1. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
I believe GRTs are a stable source of revenue and can be simple to administer and make available low tax rates for business. Anything that strengthens these principles and does not burden the New Mexico taxpayer I support.

 

  1. Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales? 
I am open to the idea of legalization however, we must do it smart, if we do it at all. 
As a public safety officer, we must make sure we have proper regulations set in place and safety measures to protect the public.

 

  1. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, pre-kindergarten, and childcare 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 believe monumental challenges need bold solutions and the constitutional amendment would fund a much needed early childhood education program. The research backs the initiative and I believe we owe it to our kids and teaching professionals to give them the best chance to succeed. 

 

  1. Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
The more New Mexicans who vote in local, county, state and federal elections the healthier our Democracy is. If an open primary does not hinder turnout nor make voting more difficult for New Mexicans to vote then I’m open to supporting a proposed change in the election code.   

 

  1. Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances? 
As an elected official I would put that trust in women and men to make the best health care decision for them and their family. As a Catholic, I have my personal views.

 

  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?
Yes. The determination of placement of capital outlay funds should be a collective decision made by all jurisdictions involved. I believe each legislator should be accountable for all capital outlay money spent which was allotted. 

 

  1. Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against? 
Yes. I believe transparency is key in government, and in an effort to garner, and keep, the public trust, disclosing this information will lend towards an open government.

 

  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? 
New Mexico is in a unique situation where we can make smart investments in alternative energy, expand the film industry and invest in tech based operations.

 

  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 a family should make the decision that is right for them and their curator. However, families should have an end of life plan with their loved ones before they ever get to that point.

 

  1. 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? 
I want to make sure that we protect the health and wellbeing of all our communities. 

 

  1. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety? 
We must revisit some of the policies set in place to ensure they are functioning correctly as well as address the lack of mental health care and addiction assistance in an effort to combat this crime crisis at the ground level.  Without the proper evaluation and treatment, the revolving door of our prison systems will continue, along with our crime crisis.

 

  1. Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills? 
Oppose, as mentioned before, the transparency of the process in government is the only way to have a fair and trustworthy process. On whatever level of government transparency is the key to public confidence and trust.

 

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? NO
  2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding? NO
  3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunk driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain. NO
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