A Comprehensive Plan for Long-term Growth

Our state needs a governor with a proven track record of building strong communities through sustainable economic models, improving public schools, strengthening public safety laws, and reforming transparency and accountability in government. My policy plan for New Mexico builds on 17 years of experience in the State Legislature, as well as over 30 years of experience as a small business owner, my agricultural heritage as a fourth-generation farmer in southern New Mexico, and my experience as a father of three daughters educated in New Mexico’s public schools and universities. I know what it’s going to take to turn New Mexico around and I have the experience, integrity, and work ethic to do it.

It’s time for New Mexico’s public schools to focus on the quality of education we provide, not PAARC scores and the demoralizing A-F grading system. Administrators, government officials, and educators must work together to develop high-quality instruction, training, and continued support. A comprehensive education system from meaningful early education to improved vocational training, funding for innovation, and community collaboration in our high schools, colleges, and universities is essential to New Mexico’s future. It’s time to make education empowering, inspiring, and innovative.

● I will expand New Mexico public school days from 180 to 200 per year. This legislation will make New Mexico the national leader in school instructional hours.
● I will no longer have our teachers evaluated or their pay determined by standardized test scores. It is time to stop blaming our teachers for every social ill and development a comprehensive teacher evaluation model that offers a road to real professional development, including leadership observation and mentorship programs.
● I will eliminate A-F grading of schools. The promises of grading schools on an A-F system have not been realized. Instead, it serves to demoralize students and other impoverish schools. I voted against Hannah Skandera and many of the failed practices of the current PED. As governor, I will continue fighting to end penalizing children and educators and instead provide our schools with the resources they need to improve.
● I will end over-testing our students and eliminate the PAARC test. Since the inception of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), we have been adding to the pile of standardized tests that our students must hurdle over. Too much instruction time is lost preparing for and taking high-stakes standardized tests. It’s time to turn our focus back to student learning and work together with parents and communities to ensure that all of our children graduate with the tools they need to succeed.
● I will return the teaching profession to a profession. Through my administration, we will develop and implement rigorous, world-class educator training programs that attract and develop motivated, passionate, and serious educators to New Mexico’s universities. We will retain our best and brightest graduates through my platform which calls for the development of teacher leader models as well as mentorship and continued education and certification.
● I will increase the salary of all current New Mexico public school educators to account for years of stagnant salaries as well as return to the high-quality healthcare packages that we know have been an important incentive in attracting educators to New Mexico in the past.
● I will protect and expand funding for our public schools. I will support universal early childhood education through increasing Land Grant Permanent Fund distribution dollars and I will oppose any efforts to divert common school funds through voucherizing or privatizing our public schools.
● My administration will work with educational institutions to develop enriching curriculum that leads to real-world job opportunities. I will increase STEM education through supporting intensive immersion programs in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and foreign languages for all students. We will develop training programs around the state to prepare New Mexicans for solar and wind technology careers. I will expand vocational education throughout the state in our high schools and community colleges. I will ensure arts and music are included within all public-school curricula across New Mexico.
● I will invest in the infrastructure of our public schools. I will create a bipartisan committee that works year-round to ensure funding effectively goes to investing in New Mexico’s infrastructure and I will continue to support legislation to reform wasteful state spending.
● I will reduce college debt through refinancing options, cutting interest rates, and forgiving student loan debt for those who start businesses that create and sustain positive impacts on communities throughout the New Mexico. I will support the move to fully funded, free public education for every student from early childhood education through vocational and debt-free college education.

From day one, I will address the significant challenges and circumstances facing our economic sector. Under the leadership of Governor Martinez, New Mexico now ranks last in national job growth, unemployment sits at over 6%, a quarter of our population lives below the poverty line, and we’re experiencing a widening gap between rural and urban economies. While there have been some bright spots in New Mexico’s economy since the recession of 2008, economic trends in the state have continued to slip.

As a small business owner, I know what works and I know that corporate tax cuts fail to create jobs. That’s why I proudly voted against the corporate tax break pushed by Governor Martinez and why I will always oppose any efforts to benefit corporations at the expense of New Mexico’s families. I will improve job opportunities in our state through improving the training and resources of New Mexico’s workforce. Our education institutions will collaborate with the New Mexico’s business communities to connect what is being taught in our schools with the demands of the job market. The days of throwing money at large out-of-state corporations will end and our focus will be on building safe, vibrant communities and a skilled workforce that allow us to create the next generation of great American businesses right here at home.

● I will immediately create hundreds of jobs by releasing $1 billion dollars in approved spending for building and infrastructure projects by reforming the state’s capital outlay process.
● I will fund vocational and technical education for a better trained workforce.
● I will improve the quality of New Mexico universities by collaborating with community leaders, businesses, unions and associations, and labs to drive development in programs, curricula, and industry.
● I will invest in training and resources for responsibly expanding and boosting our tourism and outdoor industries.
● My administration will collaborate with universities and community programs to lead the nation in protecting and preserving the history of our state parks and sacred lands.
● I will work to expand our rapidly growing film industry by increasing the amount of production in New Mexico and creating innovative debt finance loan programs that allow for studios and sound stage productions to expand.
● I will build broadband infrastructure throughout all of New Mexico. Unhindered high-speed internet is a necessity in all sectors of the economy and will allow our young people access to careers without leaving rural communities. Expanding broadband infrastructure will provide all New Mexicans with opportunities for economic development, education, improved personal safety, and access to healthcare.
● I will end unfair corporate tax breaks that encourage companies to send jobs outside of New Mexico.
● I will raise the minimum wage to $15 hour by 2020.
● I will fully support businesses owned by women, people of color, and millennials. My administration will offer tax breaks for hiring recent graduates of New Mexico’s universities.
● I will ensure 100% pay equity for women.
● I will require utilities to include renewables in new generating facilities. I will increase the requirements for the percentage of renewable energy generation (Renewable Portfolio Standards) and reinstate the New Mexico solar energy tax credit.
● I will support direct job creation through investments in infrastructure and transportation projects and renewable energy programs.
● I will promote and guarantee low-interest small business loans and start-up grants to provide the seed capital to launch and expand job-creating businesses. I support legislation that offers incentives for investing in technologies developed by New Mexicans and will implement tax policies that provide a higher degree of equity, including a fair self-employment tax rate and the elimination of tax loopholes that allow out-of-state corporations to benefit from preferences intended for small local businesses.
● I will ensure comprehensive consumer protections in New Mexico, including strong oversight and regulation of banks and other financial institutions.
● I will support government, microloan, and assistance programs to help meet the needs of high-risk borrowers and oppose predatory interest rates.
● I will implement programs that remove barriers and create a path to employment for the chronically unemployed, including veterans, technologically displaced, New Mexico’s homeless population, people with disabilities, and youth.
● I will support buy-local initiatives in an effort to help drive and encourage local business activity and success.
● I will give the Taxation and Revenue Department the staffing and funding necessary to ensure that the severance tax and royalties due from oil and natural gas extraction are collected.
● I will enhance New Mexico’s international economy by expanding existing economic and community partnerships. Our proximity to Mexico is one of our greatest assets and we should be building communities, not a wall.
I will support information transfer, entrepreneurship, and science and technology-based small business creation in New Mexico by collaborating with New Mexico’s universities and national labs.

As a father, I’ve lost sleep over the safety of my daughters and my family in Albuquerque, where crime continues to be an epidemic. Statistics show that Albuquerque holds the highest violent crime rate in the country and the administration of Governor Martinez has failed to address this issue. We need new ideas and approaches. Rather than following the same failing policies, it’s time to start looking at what makes safe communities safe. I propose comprehensive, community-based crime reform.

The frequency and severity of recent events involving gun violence in the United States has demonstrated a need to immediately address responsible gun legislation. I believe that we should focus on a concerted and comprehensive solution to alleviating the gun epidemic. I grew up respecting the importance of gun safety and I am a strong proponent of responsible gun ownership. I will institute sensible gun restrictions to keep our communities safe and prevent further tragedies.
We must fully fund our law enforcement to monitor our communities. While it’s important that we focus on the larger systemic and structural issues, we must also ensure that the every-day crime which impacts so many New Mexicans – like break-ins and auto theft – isn’t forgotten about or left unchecked. As governor, I will emphasize and encourage bridging the gap between our communities and our law enforcement agencies. We must work together to build safe communities.
● I will properly fund and reform our criminal justice system. My administration will ensure swift and consistent penalties for crime as well as address the backlog of our courts.
● I will decriminalization marijuana.
● I will emphasize recruiting of law enforcement from within communities. I will focus on putting more police on the streets with improved resources and training and support Community Policing models.
● I will increase salary and training to keep public defenders in rural communities.
● I will continue to support universal background checks for guns, the removal of guns from adjudicated mentally ill individuals, and allowing the court to take guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and criminals.
● I will deal with the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis. I will ensure full funding to rehabilitation resources in order to provide access to effective, long-term recovery and rehabilitation programs throughout the state.
● I will return funding for career education and rehabilitation resources to our public and private prisons. I will not allow incentives that encourage private prisons to keep people in their beds. For real crime reform, New Mexicans in our prisons and jails must have opportunities for healthy futures in society.
● I will secure funding for community programs that keep our youth engaged in programs that enrich their lives and offer them alternatives to drug abuse and crime.
● I will strengthen and adequately fund diversion and treatment programs as alternatives to arrest and incarceration.

New Mexico is facing a glaring and immediate health care crisis. Right now, the majority of our state is experiencing a massive shortage of primary care providers. Medicaid is one of the most critical components of our health care system with more than a third of New Mexicans enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If full Medicaid funding is not prioritized, the majority of those impacted by cuts will be the most vulnerable populations in our state – children, elderly, individuals with disabilities, and low-wage earners.
● I will pursue a federal waiver that allows individuals, families, and small businesses to use federal income tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to purchase coverage through our Medicaid managed care program through the Insurance Exchange. Our Medicaid expansion approach will expand our resources for mental health and rehabilitation throughout the state, reduce the overall costs to hospitals and individuals for uninsured care, and expand programs for preventative care throughout New Mexico.
● I will fully restore funding and local oversight for behavioral health facilities. This includes comprehensive programs for opioid and other drug rehabilitation and recovery programs. My administration will support a robust behavioral health care workforce, and promote better integration and coordination of the behavioral and primary healthcare systems.
● I will address the nursing shortage in New Mexico by creating programs to forgive student loans for nurses and provide college funding to our future health care providers.
● We will develop quality, affordable comprehensive health care, evidence-based sex education and a full range of family planning services to help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies in New Mexico.
● I will require autism coverage in state health care plans.
● I will offer incentives for highly-qualified healthcare professionals to work in rural areas through increased pay, tax breaks, and access to free training and education.
● I will continue to support medical cannabis.
● I will pressure the Federal government to fulfill its obligation to fund all Indian Healthcare services.
● I will pass strict laws to control prescription drug prices. I will support legislation that allows individuals to purchase prescriptions from licensed drug pharmacies in other countries with appropriate safety protections.
● I will restore and expand access to care for drug and alcohol addiction services and require coverage by insurance companies.
I will continue to fully support Planned Parenthood.
Now, more than ever, New Mexico must take significant steps to develop low-cost, long-term solutions to fossil fuels. The decline of the state’s coal industry is inevitable and renewable energy is not only the cheapest long-term solution, it is also the wisest.
As chair of the New Mexico Senate Conservation Committee, I recognize that our dependence on fossil fuels for energy and dependable revenue is dangerously short-sighted and we must transition to clean energy as quickly as possible. As governor, I will strengthen our Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to encourage growth in renewable energy while stimulating thousands of jobs in construction, operations, and maintenance.

● I will deliver a fully integrated renewable energy plan by 2020 that lays out mandatory benchmarks to accomplish a transition to 50% renewable energy by 2030.
● I will implement programs reduce greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent below 2005 levels.
● I will ensure that all New Mexicans, including landowners, disenfranchised communities, and tribal nations are heard and respected in the decision making and new energy implementation processes within their communities.
● I will compensate local neighborhoods and sovereign nations economically affected by fracking. I will increase the power of localities to oppose fracking and mining. I will provide environmental education and legal protections directly within our disadvantaged communities.
● I will cut energy waste in New Mexico homes, schools, hospitals, and offices through energy efficiency programs and modernizing our energy grids.
● I will reinstate the New Mexico Renewable Energy Tax credit and transition tax breaks and subsidies from fossil fuel industries to renewable energy providers. My administration will preferentially incentivize wind, solar, and other renewable energy industries over the development of new natural gas power plants.
● I will invest in a statewide solar & wind powered electric vehicle charging network.
● We will construct new transmission lines to get low-cost renewable energy to market efficiently.
● I will increase funding of the state Oil Conservation Division to adequately staff all offices with qualified personnel at a competitive salary to oversee drilled wells, witness and verify the integrity of all well bores, and enforce state and EPA regulations.
● I support the protection and reclamation of New Mexico’s state land, public land, and natural resources from damage inflicted by extractive industries, and will work to ensure that our public lands remain public for all time. That includes protecting the Gila from diversion and supporting the protection and preservation of our National and State Parks, Forests, Monuments, World Heritage Sites, and Native American sacred sites.
● I will fully support the Endangered Species Act to protect threatened and endangered animals.
I will address our statewide water issue. My administration will prioritize water use for human needs over industrial use, encourage the reduction of residential and industrial water usage by providing sustainable water policies including aquifer protection, water-supply planning, consumptive water-use permitting, and protect public health and safety by modernizing drinking and wastewater systems including support technology to recycle water

Over the last 17 years, I have fought for transparency in the New Mexico Legislature and supported major ethics reforms in our state government. I successfully passed laws that opened the state budget process to the public, amended the State Constitution to assure greater qualifications for certain public officials, ensured Lottery profits are invested in college scholarships, protected whistleblowers who courageously come forward to expose government wrongdoing, and worked to end “pay-to-play.” As governor, I will continue to lead the fight for transparency in Santa Fe.
● I will bring transparency and accountability to campaign finance. I will eliminate Super PACs in New Mexico and create competitive public campaign financing to stop the influence of big donors and special interest groups. I will require full and real-time disclosure of all hard money contributions in political and issue campaigns.
● I will require full financial disclosure by all elected officials and paid lobbyists and consultants. I will advocate for the creation of an independent ethics commission amendment to the NM constitution.
● My administration will fight against voter suppression. I will expand voting hours, the early voting period, and voting convenience center locations. I support same-day registration and automatic registration and will restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
● I support a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College.
● I will put an end to gerrymandering in New Mexico. My administration will help to create an independent, non-partisan redistricting commission. This commission will be separate from the legislative body in order to prevent the drawing of political boundaries favoring one party over another.
● I will enable the average citizen to run for the New Mexico State Legislature by paying legislators a fair salary.
● My administration will implement an up-to-date election processes that guarantees accountability in the voter software and uses equipment which archives paper ballots. I will also provide convenient polling sites in all tribal communities.
● I will prevent the revolving door between industry and government employment by requiring a waiting period between the private and public sector.
● I will support ranked-choice voting throughout the state to promote representative democracy in all elections.
● I will fight for Net Neutrality so that all internet content is equally accessible without favoring or blocking particular content.
Equality and inclusion are issues that strikes at the heart of New Mexico. Much of our strength, our character, our culture, and our beauty come from the diversity within this state. To preserve our rich heritage, we must support, protect, and encourage the talented and diverse voices and perspectives of all New Mexicans. That means equal pay for equal work, a firm stance against harassment of any kind, and equal representation and protection for all.
● I will fight to ensure equal employment opportunities for all New Mexicans. My administration will work to abolish discrimination in hiring practices and in the workplace.
● I will expand Native American representation in state decisions that affect their communities. I will provide sufficient and meaningful resources to Native American tribes to bolster economic development and self-determination.
● I will continue to support LGBTQIA protection and extension of rights. I will protect the legislative battles that have been won such as the Ban Discrimination on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in workplace. I will continue to support the extension of all healthcare and legal rights to same sex partners.
● I support a woman’s right to choose to have a child or end a pregnancy. This includes ensuring access to all necessary services.
● I will ensure that all women have full and equal access to comprehensive healthcare and insurance. This includes reproductive healthcare services, cancer prevention screening and treatment, and providing prenatal and post-natal services including paid maternity and family leave, affordable childcare, and adoption and social support services. My administration will protect women against pregnancy discrimination.
● I will end the backlog of processing rape kits.
● I will call for our political leaders to set the precedent to address any form of sexual harassment and sexual violence wherever it occurs.
● I will protect the constitutional rights of all New Mexicans. I support every individual’s right to freedom of speech, free press, peaceful assembly, and due process.
● I will protect the Establishment Clause. My administration will uphold the separation of church and state in all government institutions, including our military and public schools.
● I will enact zoning ordinances whereby a portion of new development housing is set aside for low and middle-income households. I will provide tax incentives that racially and socioeconomically desegregate new and existing neighborhoods and increase Public Housing availability.
● I will end targeted harassment, unlawful seizures, and other abuses of undocumented immigrants. I will require Border Patrol to comply with the same 4th Amendment search and seizure laws as other law enforcement agencies.
● I support the rights of cities to offer protections to immigrant populations. My administration will also deny the use of private prisons for immigration detentions and deportations. I oppose the deportations of immigrants who served in our armed forces.
● I support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans executive actions. My administration will help DREAMers, parents of citizens, and lawful permanent residents avoid deportation and pursue a pathway to citizenship.
● I will ensure that all of our veterans are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. Any person, regardless of immigration status, who served and was honorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces should have a pathway to citizenship. I will ensure fair treatment for LGBTQIA veterans, including proactively reviewing and upgrading records for veterans who were discharged because of their sexual orientation.
I will reject attempts to privatize the VA. I support full federal funding for comprehensive veteran-centric systems in order to fulfill our commitment to all veterans by meeting their needs upon discharge. This includes an emphasis on suicide prevention, employment, housing, family support, reintegration, comprehensive healthcare with timely processing of claims and appeals, and legal assistance.