Q&A: House District 23 candidate Alan Martinez - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 23 candidate Alan Martinez

House District 23 candidate Alan Martinez (Courtesy Alan Martinez)

NAME: Alan Martinez

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: Retired

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Bernalillo

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 25 years with New Mexico Department of Veteran Services, 16 years as policy director/legislative director, and nine years as the deputy Cabinet secretary

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in education from Southern Arizona Bible College in 1986; also attended Cochise Junior College and CNM; high school diploma from Española Valley High School in 1982.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: alan4district23.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?

A balanced energy policy is a must. Support for small businesses must be more than a sound bite, we must start working on tax policy that makes it easier for small business to grow. Elimination of the GRT and institution of a simple sales tax should be pursued.

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?

The constitutional amendment that was approved by voters was misleading. Judges must be given the ability to hold those charged with violent crimes behind bars to keep our citizens safe.

3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety as New Mexico faces one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation?

We must support law enforcement. The defunding of law enforcement was a huge knee-jerk mistake. We must provide funding for competitive salaries, training and equipment. We must also repeal the recently passed elimination of qualified immunity for law enforcement.

4. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, do you support or oppose codifying abortion protections in state law? And do you support or oppose enacting any restrictions on abortion in New Mexico?

I do not support late term abortions. This policy should be changed in order to protect our next generation.

5. New Mexico has already implemented several gun control laws in recent years. Would you support or oppose legislation that banned or restricted the sale of AR-15-style semi-automatic weapons, such as raising the age limit for purchasing such weapons? And what about legislation making it a crime to fail to safely secure firearms around children?

These gun control policies only harm law abiding citizens. They do not prevent criminals or those who choose to unlawfully harm others. Instead we need to look at root causes of why people choose violence.

6. The state agency tasked with keeping New Mexico children safe has faced recent scrutiny over transparency issues and its handling of high-profile child abuse cases. What changes would you support to improve the operations of the Children, Youth and Families Department?

A complete overhaul of CYFD is years overdue. Funding for additional social workers, training, and support for these front line workers is a must. Better communication with local law enforcement is a must. The creation of a team approach to combat the horrible crime of harming a child could save lives.

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

It should be repealed and a simple sales tax should be enacted.

8. 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 oppose the creation of a salaried legislature.

9. 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?

I support an equal opportunity for all students, regardless of race, income level, or ZIP code. The way that education is funded must start with the student and teachers needs in mind. Teachers being forced to furnish their own classroom supplies is an embarrassment.

10. 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 oppose the proposed constitutional amendment to withdraw additional monies from the permanent fund. We have to protect the body of that fund. I support early childhood services, pre-K, and K-12 education. However, I support a transparent process including more accountability on how the current funding is spent.

11. 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?

I support a balanced approach to energy policy. We must allow the energy industry to pursue carbon capture technologies and other limitations on emissions. Renewables must also be pursued but attention should be given to harmful effects across all sources before forcing a net-zero goal.

12. 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 support a limited scope emergency powers policy for the governor in order to maintain a constitutionally mandated balance of powers between the three branches of our government.

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

I support a more transparent process when funding capital outlay requests, making sure there is accountability in the process, thus eliminating the chance of corruption and waste.

14. Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claim that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election? (Yes or No answer only, please)

No.

15. What changes, if any, would you support to New Mexico’s election laws?

I support the opportunity for every lawfully registered voter to have every chance to cast a ballot. I think that an independent investigation into any question of election integrity must be allowed to proceed without political pressure from political candidates or parties involved.

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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