Q&A: House District 37 Candidate Isabella Solis

  • NAME: Isabella Solis
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Doña Ana County commissioner
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Las Cruces
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Before serving on the Doña Ana County Commission, placed a strong focus on serving constituents and securing funding for roads and infrastructure, served with the Federal Emergency Management Agency; instrumental in providing disaster recovery services following Hurricane Katrina, and assisted families who lost their homes.
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in social work
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: isabellasolis.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?

Oil prices rise and fall periodically, but our state’s response to the coronavirus crippled our economy. Reopen our businesses, reduce burdensome regulations on job creators and, retain common sense health practices. Spending cuts will be necessary but must be weighed heavily and used sparingly.

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 Yazzie Martinez case never should have been necessary. The Legislature has passed this on to the Education Department failing to address it. Bipartisan leadership in the state Legislature needs to pass sweeping reforms that guide the Education Department instead of blaming them.

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

I endorse full transparency and fairness for all New Mexicans. I will promote a flat tax ensuring that all New Mexicans pay their fair share from the wealthiest to the hardest working low-wage earners.

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

I am opposed to legalization of recreational marijuana. Studies have shown that marijuana use leads to an increase in underage and other drug use. Further study of the state’s medical marijuana program is required before we consider expanding legalization.

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?

Yes. In order to maintain proper checks and balances, emergency orders must be limited and after that period, extension should only then be allowed to continue with proper legislative oversight.

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

Oppose. The 1969 law did not limit a woman from having an abortion in New Mexico because of Row v. Wade. What was proposed in HB 51 was not just repeal but to allow the ability to perform an abortion up until the moment of birth. I oppose HB 51.

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 support a well-trained police force to protect our communities. Without qualified immunity, we are telling those that protect us that we will not protect them. I oppose enacting such laws.

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?

Oppose. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs. I support these increases but oppose depleting our permanent fund before the effectiveness of these programs has been determined.

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?

Voter ID would be a policy that would make elections more transparent. I support open primaries allowing all voters to exercise their right to vote for partisan candidates.

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?

Yes, I will always support complete transparency and full disclosure regarding how taxpayer money is spent.

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?

New Mexico can diversify its economy by attracting new business. Job creators are seeking a more qualified workforce and a reasonably regulated business environment. Developing this workforce and balancing regulations should be our highest priority.

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 oppose a moratorium on fracking. A critical tool used by our most profitable industry. New Mexico is a national leader in energy production. Environmentally sound but reasonable regulation is essential.

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

In New Mexico, the ravages of drug addiction are the single greatest contributor to crime and unsafe neighborhoods. We must address addiction with every tool at our disposal. Additionally, poverty increases crime and affects all aspects of public safety. Getting our economy back on track is a critical step in addressing crime and safety.

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?

After a full review and all legal requirements have been addressed, footage should be available to the public in its entirety and in full context.

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?

A complete overhaul of New Mexico’s regulation and licensing statutes is required. The current unmanageable volume of senseless regulations drives many businesses from New Mexico and deters others from considering our state as their home.

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?

Years back before becoming a public servant, we experienced and were victims of fraud that led to personal proceedings. Through time we were able to take our lives back and become successful again like so many people in our state and country that endure such processes daily.

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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