Q&A: Senate District 35 Neomi Martinez-Parra
- NAME: Neomi Martinez-Parra
- POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
- OCCUPATION: Special education teacher, retired
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Lordsburg
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Educator, NEA member, board member-Community Action Agency, DPNM Labor, and Hispanic Caucuses. Former: DPNM vice-chair, Association for State Chairs, SCC, LULAC, DNC-Rural, Women’s, Labor and Hispanic Caucuses, Budget/Finance, and Judicial Council Committees.
- EDUCATION: M.Ed Special Education Cross Categorical; bachelor’s in Gen Ed
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Neomi4NMSenate.com
- 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?
We cannot do the austerity measures that the Legislature took 10 years ago that depleted our kid’s education, our health care and our environment. We have to look at options that will not hurt the working families of New Mexico. They have paid the price more than anyone else.
- 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 need a policy specified for funding public education. We could do this from revenues out of a percentage of the state’s permanent school fund- not the corpus. This would also require a constitutional amendment.
- What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
Looking at NM GRT we have to make sure that they do not put our local businesses at a disadvantage from the out of state online stores. I will also make sure that the state enforces all local internet sales taxes so our local governments have the resources they need.
- Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?
Our state needs to diversify its revenue. We cannot rely on oil as the major source of revenue. I support legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana, as long as we have the right regulation in place to protect our children.
- 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?
Twenty-eight percent of NM children, ages 0-5 live in poverty. The LGPF will allow us the opportunity to have universal access to said programs and more. Prioritizing our children is the greatest investment New Mexico can make.
- Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
I support allowing disenfranchised DTS voters to affiliate and vote with a party during primaries. Research shows this increases the responsiveness of candidates to their communities. We need to ensure any laws we enact meets the “Freedom of Association” constitutional challenge. Allowing same-day party registration, for non-affiliated voters, would be a great start.
- Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?
NM has an old law that bans abortion and it still exists. A majority of New Mexicans support getting rid of this old law and keeping this very personal decision between a woman and her health care provider, and without politicians, or a group of strangers, interfering.
- 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?
Capital outlay funding should be transparent. Reward systems are unethical. NM taxpayers should know where their money goes and who is spending it.
- Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?
I support the requirement that all lobbyists should disclose which bill they are pushing. The Legislature works for the people of New Mexico, not the wealthy that can afford a high priced lobbyist to push their own agenda.
- 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?
We need to attract new businesses to NM to diversify our economy and move our state forward. We have to make sure the state has all the tools needed to attract new and growing businesses. We need to expand programs like LEDA and JTIP and develop other tools for NMED.
- 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?
Being of sound mind, yes terminally ill patients have the right to obtain and self-administer palliative, life-ending medication and our health care should offer end of life preparation with their doctors.
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?
Fracking impacts our environment, health and our economy. Climate change threatens human civilization. I am a strong supporter of environmental justice. These issues must be addressed.
- What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?
Revisit state statutes and revise the laws that are warranted in order for them to be enforced. Update training and education at all levels.
- Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills?
We need to end the days of smoked filled rooms where the powerful chairs set the agenda and protect their allies while New Mexico families are suffering.
- Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
As a previous business owner, our company submitted incomplete IRS tax forms. Therefore, our company and properties were the subject of tax liens, an audit was conducted, garnishments were implemented. The IRS later ruled in favor of our company and a reimbursement was issued.
- 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.