Jacob Candelaria, Senate District 26 Candidate »Albuquerque Journal
- LAST NAME: Jacob R. Candelaria
- POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
- OCCUPATION: Lawyer
- TOWN OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
- RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: State Senator 2013-present; Member, Senate Finance Committee
- EDUCATION: AB, Princeton University (2009); JD, University of New Mexico School of Law (2016)
- CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: www.senatorcanderlaria.com
What steps should the legislature take to ensure New Mexico has a balanced budget amid falling oil prices and an economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak?
A dramatic reduction in public spending would cause significant and immediate damage to our state economy, at a time when we can least afford to extract money from the economy. I support all reasonable options to resolve this crisis, including cutting tax breaks for the wealthiest among us when the budget period was favorable.
What more, if anything, should the legislature do to address a court ruling that New Mexico is failing to provide sufficient education for all students?
We need to better track how dollars are spent. In the last session, I sponsored and passed legislation that dramatically increases public access to information on school district spending. If we are to invest in education, we need to make sure that the money gets to the children who need it.
What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross revenue tax code?
I have consistently voted against any new GRT credit or deduction over the past eight years in order to stop unfairly passing the GRT burden onto others. I will continue to do so and I will encourage my colleagues to join me in embarking on a broad GRT reform.
Do you support or oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana use in New Mexico and the taxation of its sales?
Support. I also support further measures to end the war on drugs, including the defonalization of simple possession of all controlled substances. Convictions for simple possession of a controlled substance should also not count as state law on conviction of habitual offenders.
Do you think changes should be made to the emergency powers held by a governor during a pandemic or other time of crisis. If so, do you think these powers should be broadened or reduced and in what specific ways?
I believe the Governor exercised her emergency powers in a thoughtful and responsible manner.
Do you support or oppose the repeal of a long dormant 1969 state law that prohibits abortion except in limited circumstances?
100% support. I will not support or support any attempt to criminalize access to abortion. I respect the women of New Mexico to make their own decisions about their own health care.
Do you support or oppose the passage of a new state law that would allow police and other public officials to be prosecuted individually by removing the qualified immunity defense?
In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early years programs, such as home visiting, preschool, and child care assistance, and established a new trust fund to early childhood. Do you support or oppose a constitutional amendment that would withdraw more money from the Permanent Land Concessions Fund to increase funding for early childhood services?
100% support. However, I think our current budget situation may require that, for at least the next few years, all additional LGPF distributions be used to avoid drastic cuts to the K-to-Higher education system.
What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its electoral laws and primary system? Do you support or oppose the opening of state primary elections to voters who are not affiliated with any of the major political parties?
I support allowing independents to vote in the Democratic or Republican party; without requiring that a first independent re-register with either party to vote.
Would you be in favor of a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the government spends its capital expenditures? Should every legislator be required to disclose the projects they have funded?
Much of the capital expenditure is already spent using a merit-based evaluation system. These processes need to be strengthened and better coordinated. Legislative capital spending ensures that all taxpayers have a voice in how their taxes are spent. I disclose my annual capital expenditure appropriations.
New Mexico relies heavily on the oil and natural gas industries to generate revenue to fund state programs, as evidenced by recent cycles of oil boom and recession. What steps should the state take to diversify its economy and revenues?
Legalize the recreational use of cannabis by adults. Double our commitment – most recently represented by the adoption of the Energy Transition Law – to build our renewable energy infrastructure, from research to energy production and sales in the region.
Would you like to support or oppose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing? And should the state impose additional renewable energy mandates as a way to address climate change concerns?
What steps should lawmakers take to fight crime and improve public safety?
We end the racist war on drugs and direct law enforcement and judicial resources to investigate and prosecute violent crimes. We should no longer incarcerate, as criminals, our families and community members who suffer from drug addiction.
Do you support or oppose the right of the public to inspect the images taken by the cameras carried by law enforcement officers? Under what circumstances, if any, should the police video be withheld from the public?
I support the public’s right to access body camera images. I haven’t heard any good arguments, to date, that would lead me to believe that any of these videos should ever be exempt from public disclosure.
Members of the New Mexico business community argue that some state laws and regulations need to be changed so that the state can better compete with Texas and Arizona when it comes to attracting business. What steps do you think should be taken to improve New Mexico’s economic competitiveness?
We can better rebuild our economy by investing in our strengths: our outdoor economy, research, our transformation of green energy, tourism, art and culture.
1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been subject to state or federal tax privileges?
2. Have you ever been involved in personal or business bankruptcy proceedings?
3. Have you ever been arrested, charged or convicted of impaired driving, misdemeanor or felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.