Q&A: Senate District 36 Candidate Jeff Steinborn

  • NAME: Jeff Steinborn
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Conservation
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Four-term State Representative, House District 37 & 35 (2006-2010 / 2012-2016), Completing 1st Term in the State Senate
  • EDUCATION: Bachelor of Government, University of Texas at Austin.
  • CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: jeffsteinborn.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?

It will be a balancing act of budget adjustments, use of federal funds and reserve funds, and potential removal of special interest tax giveaways.

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?

We must maintain funding, educational resources and programs established in the 2019 session strengthening education.

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

We should scrub the special interest heavy tax code that has picked so many winners and losers. This would create more tax equity among all citizens and potentially lower the overall rate.

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

I support legalizing recreational cannabis use and taxing its sales. In the last legislative session I successfully amended the legislation to require that a portion of the revenue generated from legalization would go towards substance abuse treatment.

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?

I am open to reviewing the emergency powers to explore ways to improve it.

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

I support continuing with the tradition of supporting women to make health decisions regarding their bodies.

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?

There are certain circumstances where public officials conduct goes way beyond the job they were hired or elected to do. I don’t believe anyone deserves absolute immunity for any and all bad behavior.

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. I support creating a dedicated revenue stream to fund early childhood education and home visitation. This is one of the best investments our state can make.

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 open primaries to allow Independents to vote. Young people register as independent more than any other party and it’s important that we enfranchise their vote. In turn this will ignite a need for political parties and incumbents in “safe” seats to become more responsive to the needs of all constituencies.

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, we should have complete transparency about how funds are spent and it would be worthwhile to review the priorities underlying capital outlay appropriations.

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 should continue to push for innovation in many of the sectors that we are involved in – aerospace, manufacturing, tech transfer, clean energy, film and entertainment, outdoor tourism, and more.

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 full disclosure of fracking materials used and establishing more rigorous rules and safeguards to ensure its safety when utilized. I have sponsored legislation called the “Local Choice Energy Act” that would allow local communities to choose who to purchase power from. This opportunity would allow the acceleration of moving to cleaner and less expensive energy.

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

Recognizing the difficulty of law enforcement we must continue to support this mission while (re-imagining) smarter ways to address both crime and in many cases the mental health and substance abuses challenges that underlie it.

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?

Yes I do. There may be circumstances where an investigation is being conducted or the use of a confidential source that would jeopardize someone’s safety to disclose.

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?

New Mexico enjoys unique assets that must be maximized while looking for any opportunity to learn from other states successes for opportunities for improvement.

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?


2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?


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.