Q&A: Senate District 38 Tracy L. Perry
- NAME: Tracy L. Perry
- POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
- OCCUPATION: CEO; Direct Therapy Services
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Las Cruces, NM
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Career in healthcare industry, CEO of Direct Therapy Services which serves the needs of individuals with disabilities, 3 children in public schools.
- EDUCATION: Alamogordo High School
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.perry4nm38
- 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?
To increase our revenue and balance our budget without serious budget cuts, we need to invest in other industries outside of oil and gas. It is critical that we diversify the economy and develop a work force and tax base that can supply sustainable jobs for the future.
- 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?
I support continuing legislation that invests more resources in schools to comply with the Yazzie lawsuit, and also support giving educators raises and better benefits. We can’t continue to lose quality educators to our neighboring states because we don’t invest in educators.
- What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
I don’t have any issue with Gross Receipts tax at the moment, but I do support reforming our tax code to a more progressive model.
- Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?
Absolutely. I would support the legislature taking up this issue at an upcoming special session in order to bring in much needed revenue.
- 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?
I support investing more money into ECE, but moreover, I support this as a Joint Memorial so it can go to the voters to decide if they feel it’s best for the state.
- Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
I support unaffiliated voters being able to select one primary to vote in.
- Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?
Yes. In fact, this was the reason that I decided to run for State Senate. I do not believe that the government should play a role in this sensitive matter. A woman’s healthcare should stay between her, her doctor, and her faith.
- 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?
I support a more transparent process in capital outlay that requires legislation to provide for how much capital outlay money will be spent on each district, and for legislators to disclose which projects they funded. As long as there are metrics involved, I’d be open to a merit-based system.
- Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?
I support transparency for all involved, including lobbyists.
- 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?
Diversification is critical. I think we need to invest in other areas of industry that have immediate potential for grown such as alternative energy, agriculture, tourism, marijuana legalization, aerospace and defense, distribution and transportation, manufacturing, digital media and film, and federal government support.
- 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 support a humane end to life for adults. I have spoken to many families who have watched their loved ones suffer, and it does not seem fair. I would have supported SB 193 from the 2019 Legislative Session.
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?
I certainly would support a moratorium on new fracking licenses until we see what the environmental impacts around the state are. I would support a moratorium on all fracking if we can find a way to bring in new revenue and diversify the economy.
- What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?
Funding is the most essential thing for public safety improvements: We need to recruit and train officers at better rates while considering the impacts of mass incarceration and behavioral health. There will never be a 1-size fits all approach – it is a long effort that requires cooperation.
- Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills?
Transparency is critical to a functional government. Since many New Mexicans cannot visit the Roundhouse during the session, their only means of communication may be to watch webcast and call their legislators. We need to know what is happening.
- 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