NAME: Stefani Lord
POLITICAL PARTY: Republican
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Sandia Park
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Current elected representative
EDUCATION: Bachelor’s in psychology
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: Lord22.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?
Diversification requires dramatic changes. Few entrepreneurs want to do business in our beautiful state with an unfriendly business climate and the worst education in America. I recently met with a group of Hispanic business owners, expressing frustration about crime and the lack of action to fix these other issues.
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?
In the last session, I co-signed onto a bill to do just that; if there is sufficient evidence, we should hold the worst of the worst behind bars, so they are not roaming the streets and repeat offending. Sadly, Democratic leadership decided never to hear HB 27.
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?
I have talked to law enforcement officers with on-the-ground experience and listened to the public about their crime concerns. We then presented common sense crime bills to provide additional penalties for violent felons and bring back bail, only to have them stopped in committees by Democrats.
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?
New Mexico has no restrictions on abortion; we are known as the late-term abortion capital of the nation. Ending the life of a baby that can live and breathe on its own is barbaric. I support alternatives to empower women and men to choose life for unborn children and to end taxpayer-funded abortions.
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?
An estimated 20 million people own AR-15 rifles, and 99.9% use them lawfully. Chicago has strict gun control laws, including AR-15 bans, yet Chicago has murders involving guns every weekend. Bans didn’t solve their problem. We need to look at the deeper issues in our culture.
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?
I introduced HB 188 (amending the Abuse and Neglect Act) in 2022 to amend the CYFD confidentiality clause to disclose more; we cannot fix problems we don’t know exist. I support an independent and autonomous outside office to review CYFD issues, concerns and cases.
7. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
New Mexico’s gross receipts tax, paid for by consumers, is overdue for reform and impacts our economic growth. GRT pyramiding is nonconforming with traditional sales tax and is unattractive to new businesses. We must eliminate GRT on business services and exempt companies that earn less than 100k per year.
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 support a slight increase in per diem, primarily due to the expense of lodging in Santa Fe. Offering group health insurance and full-time assistants would be far more beneficial than paying us a yearly salary. Full-time politicians would ruin the state by passing incessant bills all year.
9. What more, if anything, should the Legislature do to address a court ruling that found New Mexico is failing to provide sufficient education to all students, especially Native Americans and those who don’t speak English as a first language?
Abolish PED, empower our teachers, and allow parents to choose what’s best for their children. Provide public funding to parents for home, private, or religious-based schools, including virtual schools. Stop the PED social studies program that teaches gender studies in kindergarten and “Destruction of Americas by Spaniards” to young children.
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?
Investments in education can positively impact the economy, crime prevention, and achievement. However, the money for the permanent school fund comes from leases and royalties on nonrenewable natural resources, such as oil and gas, things Democrats want to ban. Any amendment involving education needs to include school choice.
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 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050?
I support improvements in energy technology. Unfortunately, there is no technology available to replace carbon-based energy. The laws Democrats have passed in New Mexico will eradicate the energy that powers our way of life, with no replacement in sight. We are seeing the beginning of the consequences now.
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?
No Democrat or Republican should have unlimited, unchecked powers in a representative government. In multiple sessions, I co-signed onto a bipartisan bill to terminate the Emergency Response Act after 90 days and force the governor to call us into a special session to address the need for an extension.
13. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?
Placing a “merit-based” system on capital outlay means that we as legislators no longer have the discretion of putting money where it’s needed. Instead, some outside source decides what is or isn’t essential in our districts.
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)
Respondent did not limit answer to yes or no as requested.
15. What changes, if any, would you support to New Mexico’s election laws?
From my experience of knocking on doors in my district, we need to clean up our voter rolls and remove people who have moved or passed away. Ballot drop-off boxes should be removed, and we must pass laws requiring government-issued IDs to vote.
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?
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.