Q&A: Senate District 10 Katy Duhigg
- NAME: Katy Duhigg
- POLITICAL PARTY: Democrat
- OCCUPATION: Attorney
- CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Election-protection and consumer-protection attorney, former Albuquerque City Clerk, former House Judiciary Committee Analyst, former Election Protection Coordinator for Common Cause New Mexico, former member of Bernalillo County Code of Conduct Review Board and Valuation Protest Board, for executive secretary and governance counsel member of RFK Charter School.
- EDUCATION: JD from UNM School of Law in 2008, BA from University of Oregon in 2002
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: KatyDuhigg.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?
Convene a special session as quickly as possible after the stay-at-home order is lifted to address the shortfalls, put some projects on hold, create a bold economic stimulus package to get businesses going again and put people back to work. Focus immediately on economic diversification and tax reform.
- 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 is obligated to provide funding to ensure our children receive a quality education, especially those with disabilities who have been largely left out of the discussion. The legislature must be involved in assuring the money is being spent wisely and that there is a means to assess improvement.
- What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
We need to address GRT pyramiding, the ultimate burden of which is borne by New Mexico households, and is a hidden tax with regressive implications.
- Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and taxing its sales?
Support – I support the legalization of adult-use of marijuana, along with responsible regulation. This is a reasonable means of diversifying our economy, as long as appropriate safeguards are in place and that all stakeholders, from law enforcement to existing medical marijuana providers, have a seat at the table.
- 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?
We must monumentally transform how we fund education in New Mexico. Our children and families must always be a priority. Before we move forward on using the Land Grant Permanent Fund, we must analyze economic recovery from the COVID-19 and create a revenue diversification plan for our state.
- Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
Support – independent and decline to state voters should not be excluded from this part – or any other part – of the political process.
- Do you support or oppose repealing a long-dormant 1969 state law that outlaws abortion, except in limited circumstances?
Support – I support getting rid of this outdated law and keeping this very personal decision between a woman and her healthcare provider, without politicians interfering. A strong majority of New Mexicans believe abortion must remain safe and legal, regardless of their own moral views on abortion.
- 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?
Support – the public is entitled to know how public funds are spent, and a merit-based evaluation of capital outlay is a common-sense way to ensure that public funds are spent efficiently and responsibly.
- Do you support or oppose requiring lobbyists to disclose which bills they advocate for or against?
Support – the public is entitled to know not only who is seeking to influence legislators, but also which issues lobbyists are seeking to influence.
- 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 be an inviting state for businesses, without paying people to come here. We also need to develop and implement a strategic plan for growing other industries (value-added agriculture, healing/health care services, etc.) to grow and stabilize the non-fossil fuel sectors while still funding education, health care, public safety, and other critical services.
- 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?
Support – I support giving a terminally ill, mentally capable adult resident of New Mexico the option to request, obtain and take medication—should they choose—to die peacefully in their sleep if their suffering becomes unbearable.
- 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?
It would be difficult to get a fracking moratorium passed, and fracking is so pervasive in NM’s oil and gas industry that a moratorium could lead to devastating cuts to education budgets. That said, if we can make it more profitable for oil companies to pursue renewable energies, we can shift the demand away from fossil fuels and fracking.
- What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and improve public safety?
Getting crime under control means keeping violent criminals locked up, but we also need to redirect non-violent criminals and make them productive members of society by holding them accountable while diverting them to behavioral health services, addiction treatment, and job training programs.
- Do you support or oppose the practice of legislative budget-writing committees holding closed-door meetings during the crafting of state spending bills?
Oppose – the public has the right to know how public funds are spent, which includes the drafting process.
- Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
- 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.