Q&A: House District 25 Candidate Christine Trujillo

  • NAME: Christine Trujillo
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Retired educator and labor activist
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Completing 10 years as an elected state representative; member of House Appropriations Committee; House Education Committee; interim committees: chair of the Legislative Education Study Committee; member of Legislative Health & Human Services Committee; Courts and Corrections; Land Grant Committee
  • EDUCATION: B.A. and M.A. in education
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Facebook: Rep. Christine Trujillo HD 25

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 need to revisit what we deem of vital importance to the state. We know we are going to take another big hit so high-level discussions within our committees must occur to determine our options.

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?

Well, the court has rendered its decision that the state still has more to do. Our job is to make sure that the funding is made available to do it. In addition, we must constantly assess that we are achieving those goals.

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

The updates found in House Bill 6 changed New Mexico’s gross receipts, corporate income tax, and personal income tax rules. HB 6 affects online sellers, nonprofit hospitals, motor vehicle sellers, and high income earners, among others. There may need to be more refining but at this time, I think this law addressed some concerns.

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

Yes

Do you believe changes should be made to the emergency powers held by a governor during a pandemic or other time of crisis. If so, do you believe such powers should be expanded or reduced and in what specific ways?

The governor should have emergency powers to make decisions for the state that will ensure that our citizenry is safe.

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

I oppose the repeal.

Do you support or oppose enacting a new state law that would allow police officers and other public officials to be sued individually by abolishing the defense of qualified immunity?

I have strong concerns about this and need more facts.

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?

Yes, we can’t continue to parse out funding for critical programs. They must be funded fully.

What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its election laws and primary system? Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?

I’m struggling with this because as a life-long Democrat I know what I want as I elect advocates. I can’t speak for folks who don’t want to commit but I wish they would study the FACTS and the candidates before they make their decision.

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 don’t have an issue with legislators disclosing the capital outlay funding. I do this already. No merit-based system is needed.

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 steps should the state take to diversify its economy and revenue base?

We need to invest in more startups; there is terrific opportunity to work in the southern part of the state with more manufacturing and the whole state needs more funding to resurrect and support those programs that have been hit hard by COVID-19 closures.

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 support a moratorium and I do support mandates to find alternative ways to address climate change.

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

We really need to continue to train police officers better so there are safe but humane ways to deal with people who are breaking the law, provide more resources to ensure that they are well equipped and use those police cameras to ensure accountability.

Do you support or oppose the public’s right to inspect footage taken by cameras worn by law enforcement officers? Under what circumstances, if any, should police video be withheld from the public?

I’m not sure that “the public” needs to see that footage but I do believe that lawyers and judges should have access to the information to ensure that what they are being told is really accurate.

Members of New Mexico’s business community contend some state laws and regulations need changing so the state can better compete with Texas and Arizona when it comes to attracting companies. What steps do you believe should be taken to improve New Mexico’s economic competitiveness?

There are many economic development hubs that are trying to address these issues but that is not enough. The state needs to develop a written plan that is explicit about what needs to be done, how it will be underwritten, who manages it and how it’s executed and accounted for. It must be a prescriptive plan.

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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