Q&A: House District 8 candidate Alonzo Baldonado

  • NAME: Alonzo Baldonado
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Real Estate Broker
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Los Lunas
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: five terms, New Mexico House District 8
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor Business Administration, UNM 1996
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: voteALONZO.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?

We need to cut spending and make wise decisions on how we allocate resources.

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?

It is difficult to predict how the delivery of education will look in the near future. I think that school districts need to prioritize how to deliver education during this time of government shutdown due to Covid 19.

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

Changes are needed, we need to tax the people of New Mexico less. Much of what is collected through GRT is a local option and many municipalities fuel their budgets on this revenue, however, many of these tax increments fund things like Rail Runner and Spaceport. Again, we need to prioritize smart spending.

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

Oppose legalizing it. If it is legalized it should be taxed.

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?

Reduced. The governor should be required to seek legislative approval for the extension of a health order after a specific time frame. Decisions that impact our economy and citizens should not go unchecked.

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

I oppose repeal. I support expansion of laws that restrict abortion.

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?

Oppose. Qualified immunity does not give one the power to act above the law. Many cases in New Mexico have found an individual personally responsible for an act committed in their professional capacity. No need to change this.

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.

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 would support some configuration of open primary elections. Unaffiliated voters should be afforded the opportunity to vote in a primary.

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 be open to a conversation that would create some sort of merit-based evaluation system. Disclosure of projects is up to the legislator now, most make that information public.

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?

Economic development for the entire state should be top priority. Programs like LEDA (Local Economic Development Act) should be used to their fullest. Quality schools and safe neighborhoods also contribute tremendously to attracting businesses to New Mexico.

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?

Oppose. We have a tremendous amount of mandates that address climate change in place already, I do not see that any more are needed at this time.

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

Restore trust in police officers that put their lives on the line everyday in the name of safety. We need to prioritize efforts that ensure we can recruit and retain law enforcement officers. Enhance the systems we have in place to identify and remove troubled officers from causing harm to citizens.

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 believe that making footage simply available to the public at any time could be detrimental to individuals captured on that footage. There must be safeguards to protect identities of victims and critical information that could be useful in prosecuting crimes.

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 have been some gains in this over recent years. Keeping corporate income taxes low and removing barriers to conducting business needs to be priority.

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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