Q&A: Senate District 31 Arturo Terrazas

  • NAME: Arturo “Art” Terrazas
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
  • OCCUPATION: Solar Policy Advocate
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Sunland Park, NM
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Director of Government Affairs, the American Counseling Association, Legislative Assistant to Congressman Harry Teague (NM-2), Deputy Director of the Anthony-Berino Economic Development Corporation
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts, Government from New Mexico State University (2003), Master of Public Administration Candidate, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California (Expected completion, August of 2020).
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: artterrazas.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?

The legislature needs to reexamine appropriations made for the 2020-2021 budget and examine where funds can be reallocated. For instance, if a project was funded which will not be possible due to the pandemic, we need to shift those funds to cover projects, such as hospitals and first responders.

2.        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?

The legislature needs to reexamine the funding formula the state uses to determine funds to ensure it still reflects the needs of the school districts. There also needs to be a plan to expand wifi access to ensure students can access distance learning programs and other online instructional materials.

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

We need to analyze the GRT tax code in light of the economic downturn and see which portions which can be revised in order to spur growth and ease the economic strain of working families.

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

Yes, there is enough empirical evidence which shows legalization can be done safely, would reduce crime, and create much needed tax revenue for the state. Tax revenue we are going to need in light of the oil market crash that is occurring right now.

5.        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 have always supported using money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund to increase funding for early childhood services. I would support such an amendment, but the establishment of the early childhood trust fund may deem it unnecessary.

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

I do not, though I am in favor of discussing the potential of political parties paying for some of the costs for administering their respective primaries.

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

I support the repeal. The statute was essentially struck down by Roe v. Wade.

8.        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 capital outlay funding reform, though I want to hear different proposals before committing to one. We need a transparent system that works. All legislators need to disclose which projects they fund, and I pledge to always make those requests public.

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

Yes, federal lobbyists are required to disclose which bills, policies, and projects they are advocating for on a quarterly basis. They must also report which public official they met with on each issue. We can and should adopt the same system in New Mexico.

10.   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?

The state needs to begin to diversify its economy by focusing on more research and development, trade, and tourism. District 31 is right next to NMSU. There are many projects such as smart grid technology which can be developed at the university and utilized for economic gain.

11.   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 am opposed to assisted suicide.

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 would support a moratorium on fracking. The adoption of the Energy Transition Act was a monumental and necessary step forward, but other steps need to be taken to address climate change, like adoption of the community solar act, and the creation of a network of electric vehicle charging stations.

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

The best way to reduce crime and increase pubic safety is by creating jobs. Many people turn to crime out of necessity, some due to substance abuse problems. When someone has a job that pays them a good wage and provides healthcare, their quality of life improves, and they are less likely to commit criminal acts.

14. 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 closed-door committee meetings. Debates on all issues of the legislature should be open to the public.

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 drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.

No

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