Q&A: Senate District 8 Connie Trujillo
- NAME: Connie Trujillo
- POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic Party
- OCCUPATION: Nurse-Midwife
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Las Vegas, NM
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Worked as an engineer from 1995 – 2004 and as a nurse-midwife from 2007 – present caring and advocating for women in northeastern NM.
- EDUCATION: Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering – Biotechnology 1995
- Masters of Business Administration – Management Information Systems 2001
- Bachelors of Science in Nursing 2005
- Masters of Science in Nursing – Midwifery 2007.
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: https://connietrujillo.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?
The reserve exists precisely for times like these, when unprecedented circumstances require communities to dip into their rainy-day funds to take care of its citizens. If the surplus generated has been invested wisely it will continue to benefit NM.
- 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 has to invest more in educating our youth. Legislation for oversight and school budget requirements needs to put more emphasis on instruction and supporting instruction for students to achieve college-readiness.
- What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
Healthcare providers should not be required to pay GRT regardless of their payor source. Right now, GRT is paid on Medicaid payments and this is punitive to healthcare providers who care for low-income populations.
- Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?
I support legalizing recreational marijuana. The misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs, and prescription medications affect the health and well-being of many New Mexicans. Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, which are legal, and has some health benefits including reducing anxiety and pain management.
- 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 this. An investment in our youth will benefit New Mexico greatly. We also owe it to our youngest New Mexicans to give them the healthiest start possible. Parenting education & support prenatally and for newborn & infants through home-visiting programs should be included.
- Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
I support opening the state’s primary elections to voters not affiliated with all three major political parties.
- Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?
I support repealing the 1969 state law that outlaws abortion. Abortion is healthcare and I am committed to ensuring the safety, privacy, and dignity of every person making healthcare decisions for themselves without government interference.
- 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 would support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how capital outlay funding is spent and each legislator should be required to disclose which projects they fund. Government spending of taxpayer money requires full transparency.
- Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?
I support requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against.
- 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?
It’s time to explore other revenue sources. New Mexico can build on our strengths as a geographically spacious sun-drenched landscape to become the premier producer of renewable solar and wind energy. NM should partner with communities in rural New Mexico to invest in and establish wind farms and solar parks.
- 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 updating the current prohibition in the law on assisted suicide in order to allow aid-in-dying under certain medical circumstances. I am committed to ensuring the safety, privacy, and dignity of every person making healthcare decisions for themselves without government interference.
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?
Pausing new production via fracking will allow some time to study its effects on the health of the people and environment, provide environmental agencies time to review current regulatory standards and give the communities in the south time to build an infrastructure needed to support the influx of people there.
- What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?
The steps the Legislature should include the following: Eliminate for-profit prisons; implement independent investigation oversight for law-enforcement-involved shootings and deaths; Release/transition individuals sentenced for non-violent drug offenses; Legalize marijuana and increase access to drug rehabilitation services.
- 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 legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meeting while crafting the state-spending bills.
- Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
Yes, we acquired tax debt when our once-thriving healthcare practice was forced to close as a result of the OB Department closure at the local hospital in Las Vegas, NM.
- Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
No, despite being forced to close our once-thriving healthcare practice after the OB Department closure at the local hospital in Las Vegas, NM I have continued to meet my obligations to pay all outstanding debts.
- 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.