Answered by Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-incumbent). Rebecca Dow (R), Jay Block (R), Mark Ronchetti (R) and Greg Zanetti (R) did not respond.
How will New Mexico meet its 2030 climate goals while balancing revenue coming into the state from oil & gas production and hydrogen manufacture?
My administration has prioritized developing clean energy infrastructure, which has led to New Mexico becoming a top ten state for renewable energy. In addition, the administration went after polluters, imposing strict methane and greenhouse gasses rules, ending routine venting and flaring, and working to remediate mines and orphan wells. I have prioritized diversifying the state’s economy by growing industries other than energy, such as significantly growing New Mexico’s film industry, investing in outdoor recreation and cybersecurity, bringing billions of dollars of private investment to New Mexico, and legalizing recreational cannabis, which is creating thousands of jobs and millions in state and local revenue.
What does an expanded sustainable energy program for NM look like to you?
New Mexico is now home to the largest single-phase wind farm in the United States, and I intend to continue our work to both expand our state’s renewable energy production and diversify our state’s economy at the same time.
I signed legislation into law that makes solar energy more accessible for New Mexicans by expanding solar energy tax credits and adopting community solar programs.
Additionally, my administration took steps to advance utility-scale renewable energy production, including legislation to modernize our electric grid which will make our state’s energy supply more efficient and secure, as well as signed legislation that makes transmission line projects eligible for Industrial Revenue Bonds, which will advance New Mexico’s efforts to export clean electricity to other states.
What’s your plan to bring NM out of the bottom five states in childhood education?
Improving education is a longstanding priority for New Mexico, and my administration has made the most significant strides towards addressing it in generations. The first step is getting adequate resources into classrooms and my administration has delivered on the “moonshot” promise to put more than a billion directly into schools. New Mexico’s teachers will soon be the highest paid in the Southwest, allowing us to fill available teaching positions with highly qualified teachers. My administration and the state legislature established the early childhood education trust fund which will dedicate funding to making high-quality pre-k available to every single child in New Mexico.
My administration has also made targeted investments to get help to students and schools that need it the most through programs such as the Family Income Index, eliminating impact aid credits, and doubling the number of community schools. There is certainly more work to do, [but] this administration, along with New Mexico’s incredible school administrators, educators, students, and parents, have moved New Mexico forward.
What is critical race theory? Should it be taught in NM schools?
Critical race theory is a legal theory that is not and should not be taught in New Mexico’s K-12 schools.
New Mexico’s schools should teach our children an accurate, age-appropriate account of U.S. and New Mexican history, as well as teach them about their own culture and the other cultures that they live alongside in our great state. Like many New Mexicans, I didn’t learn Spanish as a student or young adult. As a child, my parents didn’t want me to learn my ancestral language because they thought I would be discriminated against, which was the prevailing thought at the time.
Today, that isn’t who we are as a state. Students should learn and speak Spanish, their Indigeneous language or whatever their languages are, at work, at school, in our homes – and we should help our students learn to read and write in those languages and learn about their cultures. Not updating our standards to be more inclusive of our unique histories as New Mexicans hurts our families and our kids.
How should NM leaders address the housing crisis here?
New Mexico’s housing supply and affordability crisis affects everyone. In March, I signed legislation to create the New Mexico Housing Trust Fund. That fund will create a dedicated revenue stream estimated to be tens of millions per year. That money will be spent on constructing and maintaining affordable housing for low- and moderate-income people.
Do you believe Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election?
What is your personal-favorite outdoor activity?
Fly fishing and cycling.
These candidates did not respond to The Paper.’s requests for answers to the questionnaire for Gubernatorial Primary Candidates: Karen Evette Bedonie (Lib), Ginger G. Grider (Lib), Jay C. Block (R), Rebecca L. Dow (R), Gregory Joseph Zanetti (R), Ethel R. Maharg (R), Mark V. Ronchetti (R)