District 44 State House of Representatives Candidates Discuss Issues

Susana Vasquez

Susana Vasquez


Community of residence: (No answer given.)

What are your qualifications for this position? I have called House District 44 my home for over a decade. Outside of my contribution to grassroots efforts to help get the right people elected, I have no political experience. Some people might be afraid to say that, but I think it’s a good thing. I’m not a politician, I’m a business owner. I think that’s the kind of leadership the state needs right now. How the pandemic was handled was the last straw for me. I was forced to close my business and was even forbidden to enter my own workplace. It was the hardest part for my employees. My business has been fortunate to survive the pandemic, but many business owners and workers in our community have not. Hundreds of businesses across the state have been permanently closed. My business experience and my connections to the community will be invaluable not only in helping our economy rebound from the pandemic, but also in ensuring that our economy can reach its full potential.

Have you ever been convicted or have any pending charges of felony, DWI or domestic violence? No.

If elected, what would be your short and long term goals? My short-term goals are to reduce and balance the state budget and pass a bill limiting the terms of office of state officials. Some of my long-term goals include reducing crime in New Mexico, protecting the lives of unborn children, tackling the state’s drug crisis, helping our education system, and securing our southern border. .

How can people reach you if they have further questions? You can visit my website at susanaformm.com or email me at [email protected]

Should lawmakers reconsider or change the legalization of recreational marijuana? A bipartisan effort to change existing laws should be something we could all support. Right after the state legalized marijuana, we heard the story of the little girl from Albuquerque who brought marijuana edibles to school and handed them out to her classmates. I will work to pass regulations that ensure that the possession and consumption of pot never puts New Mexicans, especially our children, at risk.

What sectors and/or types of businesses should the state consider attracting to New Mexico to help diversify the economy? Why? We have everything we need here at home. I’m not saying at all that I’m opposed to policies to attract out-of-state business here, but we need to focus on what’s best for New Mexicans, not big business from out of state. . Many economic incentives used by the state actually leave taxpayers in the red, or with very little return. I think state economic incentives should instead be aimed at small business owners in New Mexico. Hundreds of local businesses have been permanently closed during the pandemic. As a result, New Mexico lost jobs, business revenue, tax revenue, and an opportunity for exponential growth. If the goal is truly to diversify the economy, we cannot focus on growing any one industry in particular, but instead must focus our attention on small business owners in New Mexico.

What can the state do to improve student test scores and education in general? Education in New Mexico has been a problem for far too long, and it starts with leadership. Our elected officials are throwing money at the problem and thinking it will go away. Obviously, they are wrong. Education is the most important factor when it comes to the future of our children, and it is unacceptable to be satisfied with where we are. I am a strong believer in school choice. Rather than fund institutions that fail to meet the needs of students, we must instead give parents the funding they need to send their children to the public, private or home school of their choice.

How can the state balance the interests of legacy energy industries, i.e. oil and gas, with renewables? Oil and gas production need not be mutually exclusive. New Mexico produces both and we can continue to produce both. I believe that if we can do it right, New Mexico can become one of the top energy producers in the country and even have the potential to sell our surplus energy to neighboring states. We also cannot deny the importance of oil and gas here in New Mexico. Not only do we rely on this industry for energy production, but the industry plays an extremely vital role in our economy. Recent figures show that about $2.9 billion of the state budget, or 35% of the budget, comes from oil and gas. Any attempt to lessen the impact of this industry in our state would be devastating to the state’s economy.

In what ways can the state help mitigate the effects of inflation and supply chain issues on New Mexicans? Despite being in the same geographic region, New Mexico’s economy lags behind our neighboring states. Inflation is a problem facing Americans across the country right now, but we don’t need to reinvent the wheel to help New Mexicans financially. We must reduce government spending and increase consumer spending. If we can cut wasteful state government spending, we can have the flexibility to cut state taxes and put more money back in the pockets of New Mexicans. The gross state revenue tax must be completely eliminated.

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