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NAME: Idalia Lechuga-Tena
POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
OCCUPATION: Bilingual Consultant
RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: State of New Mexico, Communications Director, NM Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program; founder and CEO, ILT International, LLC, a consulting firm that provides services on government affairs, marketing, public relations in English, Spanish, Italian, French; Pete Dinelli for Mayor of Albuquerque, campaign manager; New Mexico House of Representatives, House Majority Office, majority analyst for 2010 and 2011 sessions; city of Albuquerque, Office of the Mayor, assistant to Mayor Martin J. Chávez; lived in the SE Heights since 1994; past president, La Mesa Community Improvement Association; helped organize International District Festival; first naturalized female from Mexico to ever serve in the NM Legislature.
1. If the state’s revenue downturn persists, would you favor trimming state spending or increasing taxes as a primary response? Please specify which cost-cutting or revenue-generating measures you would prefer.
2. Do you support or oppose raising New Mexico’s minimum wage, currently $7.50 per hour? If so, by how much?
3. Do you support or oppose the current policy of including student achievement as part of teacher evaluations? If you support the policy, what percentage of the evaluation should achievement account for.
4. Do you support or oppose legalizing recreational marijuana use in New Mexico?
5. Current state law requires early-grade reading intervention. Coupled with that, do you support or oppose legislation that would automatically require some third-graders without adequate reading skills to repeat the grade level?
6. To provide more money for early childhood programs, do you support or oppose taking more money out of the state’s largest permanent fund on an annual basis? If you are in support, what sort of accountability measures would you favor?
7. Would you support or oppose the creation of a state ethics commission that publicly releases complaints and holds open hearings?
8. Do you support or oppose making New Mexico a so-called right-to-work state, by changing state labor laws so that nonunion employees would not have to pay union fees as a condition of employment?
9. Do you support or oppose banning abortions after 20 weeks in New Mexico?
10. Do you support or oppose a law banning coyote-killing contests? Do you support or oppose banning trapping and poisons on public lands?
11. Do you support or oppose updating the current prohibition in the law on assisted suicide in order to allow aid-in-dying under certain medical circumstances?
12. Do you support or oppose a change that would earmark the state’s existing vehicle excise and gasoline tax revenue for state road projects?
13. Do you support or oppose allowing retired law enforcement officers to return to work while still collecting pension benefits to shore up department staffing, if the program protects the solvency of the retirement fund?
14. Do you support or oppose opening the state’s primary elections to voters who aren’t affiliated with either major political party?
15. Do you support or oppose expanding the state’s three-strikes law for repeat violent offenders?
16. Do you support or oppose enacting a “cooling-off” period before former lawmakers could lobby the Legislature?
17. Do you support or oppose passing a law that would allow local governments to impose curfews on minors under the age of 16?
18. Do you support or oppose archiving webcasts of all legislative meetings for public access?
19. Do you support or oppose establishing a salary for legislators?
20. Should public employees, including teachers, be prohibited by law from serving in the Legislature? Please explain.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?
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.
EDUCATION: University of New Mexico with degrees in Economics and Political Science, with a concentration in International Politics. Universidad Pública de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain / Summer School Paris, France. Published Academic Research: The Positive Effects of the Immigration Spectrum in the United States in the Economic and Political Sector, written in Spanish, English, French; attended Kirtland Elementary School, Wilson Middle School, and Highland High School. .
CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: idalia4nm.com
1. We must diversify and grow economy and streamline state government. We should look for areas in which we can save money, never on the back of employees or at the cost of cutting much needed services. We must find ways to grow our economy to compete with our neighbors, invest in small businesses and our film industry.
2. The minimum wage is so far behind where it should be. I believe in $15 an hour. I support a minimum wage in New Mexico indexed to the consumer price index, but it must start at $15 an hour. In the 2016 legislative session, I supported and co-sponsored a bill that Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela, D-Santa Fe, sponsored to increase minimum wage.
3. Student achievement should always be part of teacher evaluation. Student progress should be an element of teacher evaluation, but not on high stakes testing. The testing companies are making hands over fist on these deals, but our children are not benefitting. I support 3-tier licensure and rewarding excellence.
4. I support legalizing. Our local police officers have more important things to do, and weeks in jail and a record that prevents someone from finding a job is just too harsh for simple possession, especially for young people. I do think this issue should be placed on the ballot.
5. Oppose. NM has a good retention law already, one that gives teachers and parents a say in retention Those retentions are a last resort and done when the experts (teachers, school personnel) and parents agree.
6. Support. Early childhood education is essential to all of our children. We must provide an opportunity for all of our children.
7. Support. It is time.
8. Oppose. I voted against this law at the 2016 legislative session. Every state that has passed right to work legislation has noticed a rise in worker injuries and benefits and wages have gone down. This is not the right direction for New Mexico.
10. I support a law banning coyote-killing contests. I support banning trapping and poisons on public lands.
17. I supported this legislation in the 2016 session.
20. Of course not. We are a citizen Legislature.