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Q&As: Senate District 22 (D) – Sandra Jeff

sandrajefflNAME: Sandra Jeff

POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic

OCCUPATION: Former Legislator

RESIDENCE: Crownpoint

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RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: (No response)

EDUCATION: (No response)

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: (No response)

1. If the revenue downtown continues, I am open to targeted spending cuts and/or revenue enhancements. Our state can’t continue to tax and spend, and expect a different outcome. Everyday citizens, including local governments, are expected to live within their means; the Roundhouse is no exception.

2. I have previously voted to support a one-time increase (2013-SB 214) in the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour. I don’t agree with any attempt by either party to politicize minimum wage increases as a divisive wedge issue like abortion or gay marriage . I’m also strongly supportive of local control and communities who have increased the minimum wage at the local level, rather than waiting on Santa Fe or Washington, D.C. to act. Any action to increase the minimum wage should be from the local grassroots-level, not top down.

3. I support a comprehensive evaluation for teachers, which truly measures their impact on student achievement. I support an evaluation system that is based on multiple measures, rather than one high-stakes test given one time a year. I also support piloting an evaluation system, rather than sticking with a status quo, which really has not helped our children.

4. Because of New Mexico’s dire economic situation, we should not exclude any potential source of revenue generation in our state. For example, Colorado has had remarkable success with marijuana legalization, which has substantially increased funding for education, public safety, and infrastructure. Decriminalization of marijuana possession has substantially reduced the social and public costs upon taxpayers as well. Other states have enacted similar legislation and it’s worth examining what works and doesn’t work.

5. (No response)

6. (No response)

7. Yes. Based on my experience, the current process is extremely political and tainted by political agendas/vendettas rather than doing what is right.

8. Across the state and even in my area, union membership has significantly declined, even in the absence of right-to-work laws. At this point, unions need to be competitive, innovative, and provide value to their membership and employers who have to pay higher wages. Several members of my family have belonged to unions and I realize the importance of unions. At this point, I am neither in favor nor opposed to changing state labor laws.

9. As a Navajo/Diné woman, reared in our culture and traditions, life is very precious and sacred. In the very rare instance that this issue would be voted on, I would support banning abortions after 20 weeks.

10. This is not a major issue in my area or even a statewide issue. However, killing coyotes for fun or sport seems pretty stupid. In my area, persons have a right to defend their cattle, horse, and sheep from anything (including coyotes) that will kill their animals.

11. (No response)

12. The state gasoline excise tax has remained flat/unchanged for many years and is running out of money. In particular, the state gas tax pays for critically needed highway and infrastructure improvements, and does not go into the general fund for politicians to play with. Raising the gas tax a penny or two will make a huge difference to pay for greatly needed highway construction and maintenance projects that have an economic impact on our state.

13. Support. At this point, there is a critical shortage of law enforcement officers. Retired officers bring in existing training and experience that can’t be found elsewhere, unless there is a huge infusion of new officers. Rural communities face even greater challenges in hiring and recruiting officers.

14. Support. New Mexico’s closed primary system does a tremendous disservice to all citizens who aren’t affiliated with either party. Our current system is big slap-in-the-face to our democratic system when we literally exclude people who aren’t registered with either party.

15. Three-strikes laws typically failed in other states, while imposing huge social and political costs on taxpayers because persons convicted for minor crimes were given punitive prison sentences. This issue warrants further study, including specific violent crimes that warrant increased penalties.

16. (No response)

17. Support. Local governments and citizens, not Santa Fe, should have the ability and flexibility to make laws and decisions for what they think is best for their citizens at the local level.

18. Support. What do we have to hide? I strongly believe that we need to be more transparent and open with our citizens.

19. (No response)

20. All persons, excluding felons, should have full access to the ballot and ability to run for office, including serving in the Legislature. As long as they take leave, and not receive any special pay/benefits, I don’t see why prohibitions should be allowed.

Personal background:

1. No.

2. No.

3. No.

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