Q&A: House District 15 candidate Day Hochman-Vigil - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 15 candidate Day Hochman-Vigil

House District 15 candidate Day Hochman-Vigil (Courtesy Day Hochman-Vigil)

NAME: Day Hochman-Vigil

POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic

OCCUPATION: Attorney

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Los Ranchos

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Two-term incumbent legislator; 10-year New Mexico attorney; experience interacting with international, federal, state and municipal governmental entities.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts, Colorado College ’07; Juris Doctor, University of New Mexico School of Law ’11; Master of Laws, McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law ‘16

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: anewdayfornm.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 must continue supporting viable industries such as renewable energy, STEM-based research and tech-transfer, manufacturing, outdoor education, tourism and others through continued investment in state subsidization programs, such as Local Economic Development Act funding, Job Training Incentive Program grants and new programs such as the Opportunity Enterprise Act.

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?

A more effective method to reduce violent crime would be to re-tool pretrial detention algorithms utilized by judges to better predict factors that contribute to recidivism and determinations of dangerousness to the community. We must also support law enforcement recruiting and retention practices and fully fund pretrial supervisory services to better track accused offenders awaiting trial.

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?

In addition to continuing to make unprecedented investments in law enforcement recruitment and retention, the state must also continue to work on the availability of mental and behavioral health resources to address cyclical and generational poverty, substance abuse disorder and the root causes of crime that contribute to the recidivism cycle.

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?

Right now, women’s reproductive health services are safe and available within the state of New Mexico. I would support statutory protections of reproductive health services. Should any statutory restrictions be proposed on such services I would oppose them, because I believe such extremely personal decisions are better left between the pregnant person, their family and their health care professional.

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?

As someone personally affected by gun violence, I support restrictions on purchases of semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines, including raising the age limit. Although I generally support the concept of secure storage, my full support would be contingent upon the specifics of the bill to ensure constitutional due process rights are also preserved.

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?

In addition to imposing additional transparency and specific accountability measures such as the submission of benchmark data to track progress and the creation of an independent ombudsman office, employee retention and morale must be brought up at CYFD to better assist the agency in realizing its mission and purpose.

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

New Mexico’s gross receipts tax code is overcomplicated and vague. It also compounds tax pyramiding and penalizes specific industries over others. It should be simplified to eliminate dozens of impractical and ineffective exemptions and deductions to focus on a more streamlined and predictable approach to revenue generation throughout the state.

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?

Under the current model, legislators must balance the needs of their constituents with supporting their families, which leads to time restrictions and conflicts of interest. New Mexicans deserve better and should be represented by legislators who are paid based upon the median state wage whose No. 1 priority can and will be the districts they represent.

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?

While major investments have been made in education of at-risk populations following the Yazzie/Martinez case, the state has more work to do in improving education outcomes and the availability of critical infrastructure, such as human resources and culturally appropriate instruction and materials.

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 support tapping the Land Grant Permanent Fund upon confirmation that the needs of New Mexico’s kids will not be sufficiently met by the already established early childhood trust fund.

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 do support such measures as they are critical to New Mexico meeting the immediate needs of its diverse communities, including water and viable soil for outdoor preservation and agricultural needs.

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?

While I believe that the governor’s authority to invoke and extend the Public Health Emergency Act is warranted, especially in the case of sudden emergencies, I believe that it should also be subject to legislative oversight in cases where New Mexicans can expect protracted invocations of the act.

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

I would, if subject to legislative oversight with public input and with plans in place to ensure localized needs are still met throughout the state.

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?

New Mexico must continue to expand and preserve the right to vote for all eligible populations. This means expansion of same-day registration services, in person voting centers, no excuse absentee voting and voter education/outreach. We must also expand protections to election officials and poll workers to ensure their safety throughout the election process.

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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