NAME: Eliseo Lee Alcon
POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
CITY OF RESIDENCE: Milan
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Retired magistrate judge; current state representative
EDUCATION: Some college
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?
The Legislature needs to start looking for diverse and equally profitable investments. Oil and gas won’t last forever, so we need to plan ahead for our state’s future.
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?
It is hard to make those laws and not take away from judicial discretion. People have constitutional rights to bail.
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 need to address our growing mental health crisis, which is a large catalyst for the crime rates in New Mexico. We need responsible gun owners to take precautions and secure their guns, because they are increasingly being stolen and used for crime.
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 support codifying abortion protections in state law. I believe in a woman’s choice. I oppose any restrictions on abortions in New Mexico.
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?
Yes I would restrict AR-15s to military and police only. I would vote for a law that makes it a crime not to lock up one’s guns.
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?
CYFD needs to be held to the strictest standards and employees held accountable for decisions they make. I would look for increased training requirements, increase staffing and require transparency in all areas of the agency.
7. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?
I would be willing to negotiate lowering it 1- to 1½ lower than the status quo. The decrease in tax would likely result in an increase in spending, particularly for lower-income New Mexicans, creating an economic windfall.
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 do not support a salaried Legislature. I value the gravity of what it means to be a citizen 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 carried educational stabilization funding for years until it was taken away from me. We need to study exactly how much of a deficit our Native communities are facing to provide quality education and provide that funding immediately. We need to increase funding for programs that help ESL students.
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?
Yes I support this proposed constitutional amendment.
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 legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the state achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. I also support retooling our mining industries to support carbon capture.
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 think the governor’s powers are appropriate. Governor Lujan Grisham kept our state safe and adhered to the latest science throughout the pandemic.
13. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?
No. We already gave up our power to redistrict, we will not give up our power to appropriate.
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)
15. What changes, if any, would you support to New Mexico’s election laws?
Require absentee ballot boxes at each Chapter House. I support automatic absentee ballots for people who have a history of voting absentee.
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.