Q&A: House District 11 candidate Javier Martínez - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 11 candidate Javier Martínez

House District 11 candidate Javier Martínez (Courtesy Javier Martínez)

NAME: Javier Martínez

POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic

OCCUPATION: Social impact lawyer

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: 22 years of experience working with diverse communities across Albuquerque including the historic HD 11 neighborhoods of Barelas, Santa Bárbara/Martíneztown, Sawmill and others. Four-term incumbent state representative for House District 11, current House majority floor leader.

EDUCATION: University of New Mexico School of Law, 2010. Admitted to the New Mexico State Bar, 2011

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: javiermartinezfornewmexico.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?

I’ve led efforts to diversify New Mexico’s economy including tax reform that helps working families and small businesses thrive, rebuilding our film industry, and creating new opportunities like the recreational cannabis industry. More remains to be done including deploying New Mexico’s full renewable energy potential by expanding on clean energy projects like the SunZia wind project.

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.

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?

A collaborative effort between local governments and agencies is key. We made significant progress last session with violence intervention programs, law enforcement recruitment and retention, and pretrial services, but we must do more to target the drivers of public safety issues — addiction and treatment services, behavioral health programming, etc.

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?

Women should make their own decisions about their bodies, which is why we acted boldly in 2021 to take the antiquated abortion ban off the books. Moving forward we will take any necessary action to ensure that New Mexico remains a beacon of hope in protecting a woman’s right to choose.

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?

AR-15-style weapons have no purpose in our daily lives. Repeatedly we have seen the terror that people armed with these weapons have caused and the devastating impacts these shootings have had on families. We need to get these deadly weapons off the streets; this also includes safely securing firearms around children.

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?

My team has been working diligently with a group of legislators on this very issue this interim. We are working on sustainable solutions to address these challenges head on. The current system is clearly not working.

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

Every GRT exemption/deduction should be subject to reporting requirements and sunsets. This will allow the Legislature to assess whether a specific tax break serves a policy purpose or if it should be repealed.

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 modernizing our state’s Legislature, and diversifying who is able to serve. This is an issue of good government. Effective government means having staff working on pressing issues year-round, and having a more frequent meeting structure so the needs of our communities are met in a timely manner.

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?

Continued investments and the expansion of programs that have a track record of working to improve outcomes including bilingual and multicultural education programs, family engagement strategies, and early childhood education.

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?

As a sponsor of the bill to get this measure on the ballot, I strongly support this investment in our youngest children. National and local data continues to show that early childhood care and education programs yield positive outcomes in child development, education and family stability.

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?

New Mexico can be a national leader in renewable energy production. I support taking the necessary steps to a smooth energy evolution, developing clean and sustainable energy sources.

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.

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

Yes.

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?

We have to do all that we can to ensure fair and accessible elections. That means removing barriers to the ballot box by increasing voter participation online and in Native communities. That also means expanding voter registration efforts and having overall access to the ballot box—whether in person or absentee.

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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