Q&A: Senate District 15 Candidate Daniel A. Ivey-Soto

  • NAME: Daniel A. Ivey-Soto
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Association executive and attorney
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Incumbent two-term senator; former prosecutor; former schoolteacher; former state elections director.
  • EDUCATION: Juris Doctor; Master of Business Administration; master’s degree in education; bachelor’s degree in political science; associate degree in Spanish.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: IveySoto.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?

While it is clear we will need to cut state government spending, we must also begin to invest in our state’s future. What we have failed to do in the past is diversify New Mexico’s economy.

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 ruling was about outcomes, but so far the Legislature has focused on more funding. We need to develop a plan to improve results for all students, especially those classified as at-risk. The identified problems will not be resolved by more money without a plan.

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

We need to convert to a sales tax and stop the current process where a good is taxed multiple times. Also, if we remove exemptions and broaden the base, we can (and should) lower the tax rate, which will make New Mexico more competitive.

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

Support.

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?

Our current laws are outdated remnants of the Cold War era. We should do a better job defining what constitutes a crisis, and how long the chief executive may act before calling in the Legislature.

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

Support.

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. I believe we need accountability in policing, along with better policies and better training. However, we must also be careful not to swing the pendulum so far that no good people want to become or remain in law enforcement. It must be a balanced approach.

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 sustained funding for early childhood education and services. If there is no other source of funding, then we may have to take it from the permanent funds. How we spend money is a reflection of our priorities and values.

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 support eliminating the publicly funded party primaries. Instead, all voters should cast their vote in November for the best candidates using ranked-choice voting which encourages better competition and does not exclude any voter. This will result in more choice for voters and save millions of dollars.

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 a merit-based system; and yes on disclosure of funded projects by legislator. I have co-sponsored bills in the past to accomplish this and will continue to do so until we achieve the needed reform.

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?

There are three things we must accomplish before we can successfully diversify our economy and attract investment and jobs: (1) Reform taxation; (2) improve education; and (3) reduce crime.

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?

Fracking must be done without disruption to the clean water system in our state. Oil production is relevant to jobs and revenue. Renewable energy mandates relate to the carbon footprint each of us creates based on the source of energy used. Renewable energy incentives are a net positive.

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

As a former prosecutor, I know many criminals are feeding their addictions. This does not relieve them of responsibility for their crimes, but unless we get serious about treatment, we will not reduce crime.

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?

Support. However, we need more refined laws to protect confidential health information, informants, incidental nudity, and scenes depicting gruesome death from unrestricted release to the public.

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?

In addition to my answers to Question 11, New Mexico needs to reduce the excessive regulation and licensure required for many jobs where protection of the public is not at issue. In addition, we need to make good on a long-overdue promise of a one-stop website for permitting.

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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