Q&A: House District 17 Democratic candidate Cynthia D. Borrego - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 17 Democratic candidate Cynthia D. Borrego

Cynthia D. Borrego

NAME: Cynthia D. Borrego

POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic

OCCUPATION: Small business owner

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Served COA president/V.president and chaired Land Use Committee, elected city councilor, Northwest Mesa. Served Board N.M. Municipal League and AMAFCA. Worked City/County urban planner, 28+yrs, manager Redevelopment Agency, APAMember. NMPERA, 8 year board, 2x chair. Served V-Chair MRGCOG Transportation and Water Boards. Served chair APS/ABC Schools, and current chair UNM/PA Alumni and RGCU Boards and owner Cyba’s and Assoc., owner artisan retail store.

EDUCATION: Master of Public Administration; Bachelor of Science, education; hours 2nd masters community and regional planning; numerous certifications real estate; telecommunications; law and investments.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: cynthiaborrego.com

1. 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 Legislature take to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?

New Mexico Legislature should ensure that the State Investment Council diversifies New Mexico’s money in as many sound investment opportunities as possible, emphasizing investing in economic development opportunities. New Mexico’s finances should be solvent, invested properly with the lowest risk, gaining the maximum interest income. N.M. tax policy should be reformed and competitive with neighboring states.

2. During the last regular legislative session, there was an unsuccessful push to make it easier to keep certain defendants behind bars until trial. Should New Mexico law be changed to make it easier to hold individuals charged with violent offenses such as murder and first-degree child abuse behind bars until trial?

Yes, while serving on Albuquerque City Council, I sponsored and passed a memorial, working with APD to the N.M. Legislature, proposing stringent laws when a firearm is used in a violent crime, involving a child. I’m committed to passing legislation protecting children from violent crime and increasing penalties against those who commit such crimes.

3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety amid a rise in violent crime rates?

Fully fund public safety, community policing, recruitment/retention statewide. Officers should be supported, respected, and ensured retirement (PERA and health care) benefits are well invested, solvent, sound and available upon retirement. Attracting officer benefits ideas: educational opportunities, lowered interest mortgages, lowered housing down payments…I’ll fight to serve on Pensions/Investments Committee.

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

GRT-Tax Code needs a tax code overhaul. Serious tax reform should be completed when the state is flush with money and have the opportunity to fine tune and adjust. Competitive tax structure review and alternatives to GRT, is a good start. State finances should be leveraged efficiently and effectively, to move the state forward.

5. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay its legislators a salary, though lawmakers do get per diem payments and can qualify for a legislative pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried Legislature and, if so, how much should lawmakers be paid?

I do support a salaried Legislature. In addition, I support each legislator having a paid year-round policy analyst, to review and assist in researching and drafting quality bills.

6. 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, especially Native Americans and those who don’t speak English as a first language?

Create more outreach programs for children living in poverty, and the tribes and fully fund Indian education, high-speed broadband throughout New Mexico, increase the “At-Risk” index in the funding formula, career technical/vocational education. Also, create and support more hybrid educational programs for distance learning and provide language translation/interpretation for education programs.

7. What should be the priority as New Mexico seeks to strengthen its health care system?

The priority should be quality, affordable, available health coverage throughout New Mexico. Rural health care needs support and an increase in providers, which could be achieved through incentives for serving in rural settings. As a state our top priority needs to be children and seniors.

How should the state address a shortage of nurses and other health care workers?

Work within the public school system and the private sector offering incentives for students to gain a nursing/health care focused degree/certification. Programs and incentives for tuition, student loan forgiveness, housing, lowered interest rates for mortgages, car loans are opportunities which could be explored cooperating with private sector, for students pursuing health care careers.

8. 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 the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would withdraw more money from the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-12 education?

I fully support expansion of early childhood programs, throughout N.M. My undergraduate degree in education gives me insight as to how important early childhood experiences shape an individual development later in life. Our children’s success should be our state’s highest funding priority, as they are our future.

9. In order to address climate change and air quality issues, do you support or oppose legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the state achieve net-zero emissions by 2050?

Fully support legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is real, and every effort should be made to develop solutions, and strategies to address it statewide. While serving on the City Council, I was able to sponsor, and passed a Council memorial, recommending the New Mexico Legislature develop strategies and solutions focusing on this issue.

10. New Mexico recently became the 17th state to regulate and tax recreational cannabis sales? What, if any, changes do you believe should be made to the existing law?

Strict regulations to ensure packaging of products are child proof. We must ensure cannabis and edibles, are not created in a way to entice toddlers and children through labeling, packaging and storage requirements. Also, driving while high, an area all New Mexicans should be concerned about, road safety requirements being developed and implemented.

11. 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?

No.

12. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its election laws and primary system?

I believe we should make it easier for all citizens to vote.

Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?

Yes, I support this concept.

13. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?

I would support a system that reviews all capital outlay request for viability and appropriateness and makes recommendations to be used as a guide for individual legislator’s projects. Benefits to implementing this methodology are limiting arbitrary actions, favoritism and political coercion.

14. Do you support or oppose authorizing an independent redistricting commission to perform the once-per-decade task of redrawing New Mexico’s political boundary lines?

I support this concept.

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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