Q&A: Senate District 30 Candidate Joshua A. Sanchez

  • NAME: Joshua A. Sanchez
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
  • OCCUPATION: Small business owner
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Bosque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 15 years working for the Rio Grande Conservancy District
  • EDUCATION: High school diploma
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.jas4nm.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?

New Mexico thrives when the people of New Mexico are allowed to return to work.

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?

New Mexico needs to reform its approach to the education system and its spending. We aren’t getting a good return on our investment into education. I am a proponent of kids being career-ready when they graduate high school if they are not going to choose to go to college.

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

This is a complex subject which requires more details in the question to be answered effectively.

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

I oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana. Many jobs require drug testing and New Mexico businesses struggle to get employees that can meet this requirement now, recreational marijuana will not help this at all.

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. I believe they need to be reduced. Allowing unlimited extensions of state and small business closures needs to be looked at very closely for future emergencies.

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

I oppose repealing the 1969 state law that outlaws 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?

I oppose enacting a new state law that would allow police officers to be sued individually.

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 oppose a constitutional amendment that would withdraw more money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund.

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?

The change I would like to see would be voter ID requirements and create a system where people can obtain an ID at no expense so suppression of voters would not be an issue. I oppose opening the state primary elections because I want to preserve the two-party system.

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?

If the merit-based evaluation is based on an equitable system of which areas of New Mexico need the most help to improve with funding, then I would support a merit-based system. I believe for transparency, legislators should disclose which projects are funded.

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?

Our state must build a career-ready educational system so we can attract businesses to this state outside of the oil and gas industry. Businesses will come to New Mexico because we will be able to then supply quality, trained employees.

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 would oppose restrictions on fracking. I am very aware of climate change and I understand that our world is always changing and we must be good stewards to do our part to not accelerate the process. I would support renewable energy products that are truly renewable.

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

Begin by supporting economic development to decrease poverty. Always support the law enforcement officers by stopping revolving door sentencing.

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 oppose the public’s right to inspect all footage recorded by law enforcement officials. I believe it is part of the evidence in a crime and should be held in confidence as part of due process. After the event is resolved then it can be released to the public afterward.

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?

Our state must build a career-ready educational system so we can attract businesses to this state. Businesses will come to New Mexico because we will be able to then supply quality, trained employees.

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. (Editor’s Note: A business Sanchez owns, Sanchez Demolition Inc., faced a $51,000 tax lien filed by the state about five years ago. It was satisfied in 2019. Sanchez said he misread the Journal questionnaire and thought he didn’t need to disclose a lien that had been paid off.)

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 drunk driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.

No.

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