Daymon Ely

 Rep. Daymon Ely, Democrat, District 23

What piece of legislation were you particularly proud to have worked on during the 60-day legislative session?

House Bill 75 passed and was sponsored by state Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales.

“A deal was worked out on Medical Malpractice reform, between the hospitals and independent physicians, because independent physicians were watching their (malpractice insurance) premiums go up and up and up,” he said. “… It was a major 45-year overhaul of medical malpractice, so that was cool.”

What are you looking forward to working on in the 30-day legislative session next year?

Ely said that was an easy answer and he would like to work to discourage predatory lending, when lenders charge high interest rates for small loans.

“So right now, people are being charged 175 percent on small loans and we were very close to a bill that would have reduced that to 36 percent. That is a tax on the poor, and I would really like to see that revised,” Ely said.

What are your thoughts on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis?

“I am for it; 100 present I am for it. Everybody is raising all these problems, water problems, developmental brain problems, impaired driver problems, right? The solution is not locking people up. There are solutions to each one of those problems, but it not locking people up and that is what we are doing. There are people on probation that use pot, which is a violation of probation, so they get locked up and out in jail. That is just dumb, and we got to stop doing stupid stuff and spending money and ruining people’s lives to accomplish different goals that are not being met. It is not sensible to me. So I am 100 percent for it, should have happened a while ago. I am not pollyannish about it,” he said.

Contact information: 610-6529 or daymon@daymonely.com

 

Jason C. Harper

 Rep. Jason Harper, Republican, District 57

What piece of legislation were you particularly proud to have worked on during the 60-day legislative session?

House Bill 278 passed and was co-sponsored by state Rep. Jason Harper, R- Rio Rancho.

The bill is a tax deduction for selling tangible personal property to a person engaged in manufacturing businesses who uses that property as a component of the manufactured product, according to the bill.

“It was a small step for addressing our gross receipt tax pyramiding problems in manufacturing,” Harper said. “… It will especially help small businesses as we try to recover from COVID.”

What are you looking forward to working on in the 30-day legislative session next year?

House Bill 305 was in the House Health and Human Services Committee and was sponsored by Harper and Rep. Joshua Hernandez.

“I am trying to address the Cleveland (High School) shooter issue. It did not pass, and it was not because there was opposition. There needs to be more work done on it. Some of the folks who came to testify in committee brought up some potential challenges, and I am glad they did, because we want to make sure we get it right. So we are going to be working over the interim,” he said.

What are your thoughts on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis?

“I am strongly opposed. My best friend in high school — super-smart, was going to become a high school science teacher — started smoking marijuana his junior year, and you fast forward seven years and he was shot in the face and died. Marijuana destroyed his life,” Harper said. “In a state where we have so many problems, I am shocked and dismayed that we are having a special session on marijuana instead of a special session on education.”

Contact information: Personal Cell: 554-7970; Email: JasonHarperNM@gmail.com; Facebook: JasonHarperNM; Website: www.HarperNM.com.

 

Craig Brandt

 Sen. Craig Brant, Republican, District 40

What piece of legislation were you particularly proud to have worked on during the 60-day legislative session?

State Sen. Craig Brant, R-Rio Rancho, said the session didn’t benefit anyone.

“This session was not a great session for the people of New Mexico. It was a bad session for the people of New Mexico, it was bad for every small business in New Mexico, so the only thing that I can be proud of is I fought to kill as many as the bills I could this year. Because every bill seemed to be attacking small businesses or attacking people’s freedoms,” he said.

What are you looking forward to working on in the 30-day legislative session next year?

“We didn’t get very far, but I am still working on the fact that you can threaten to shoot out the school in this state and it is not illegal. I will keep working on it until we can get it at least a misdemeanor; it should be a felony like a bomb threat. For some reason, the same people who want to take away everyone’s right to bear arms, they don’t want it to be a crime for someone to threaten to shoot someone,” he said.

What are your thoughts on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis?

“I am one of the ones who believe it is going to happen. So I have been working with other sponsors to try and get the least damaging cannabis legalization we can get. We need to have certain protections in place for the children to limit their access as much as possible. We need to make sure that we have funding going to the law enforcement training, which is the drug recognition expert training, because very few of our officers have that and you can do DWI but you cannot do drugs without the DRE training, and so that is an important facet of that,” he said.

Brant said he is working with Republicans and Democrats to get a bill that is passable.

Contact information: 503-5001 or senatorbrandt@gmail.com

 

Christine Chandler

 Rep. Christine Chandler, Democrat, District 43

What piece of legislation were you particularly proud to have worked on during the 60-day legislative session?

State Rep. Christine Chandler, D-District 43, said there were a number of bills she was a part of that will have a long-lasting impact for New Mexico businesses, working people and families.

Chandler was particularly proud to sponsor House Bill 11.

“The small business grant program (HB 11) for which I was the lead sponsor along with Speaker (Brian) Egolf. The bill creates a program of grants for New Mexico businesses severely impacted by the pandemic, of up to $100,000. The bill provides $200 million to fund the program,” she said.

What are you looking forward to working on in the 30-day legislative session next year?

“Tax reform that addresses the regressive nature of the state’s tax system, eliminates the outdated hodge-podge of exemptions, deductions and credits, and lowers the (gross receipts tax) rate,” Chandler said.

What are your thoughts on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis?

“Under an appropriate regulatory framework with strict controls, taxing structure and protection of rural water and agricultural resources, I support the legalization of adult-use cannabis,” she said.

Contact information: 986-4226, 695-2646 or christine.chandler@nmlegis.gov.

 

Joshua Hernandez

 Rep. Joshua Hernandez, Republican, District 60

What piece of legislation were you particularly proud to have worked on during the 60-day legislative session?

State Rep. Joshua Hernandez, Republican-Rio Rancho, said he was proud to be a co-sponsor on House Bill 255.

“I am proud to have worked on House Bill 255 with representatives from both sides of the aisle. This legislation not only allows for alcohol delivery, but also modernizes our liquor control act. We created a new liquor license that will allow restaurants with 60 percent or more revenue coming from food sales to serve beer and wine for $1,050 per year or serve beer, wine and spirits for $10,000 per year. This bill should increase economic development by allowing new restaurants to open without having to spend over $300,000 to acquire a liquor license,” Hernandez said.

What are you looking forward to working on in the 30-day legislative session next year?

“With the focus of the 2021 Legislative Session heavily being COVID recovery for families and businesses, I would love to see the legislature really focus on getting small businesses back on their feet and giving them the tools to see them flourish and grow. I would also like to see economic development and growth being a focus of the 2022 Legislative Session,” he said.

What are your thoughts on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis?

“I am still undecided on legalization. I can see the benefits of new businesses, jobs and revenue for our state, but at the same time, I can see the increase of underage use, DUIs and more. I was elected to represent my district, and I am currently working to reach out to the people of my district to get their stance on the subject,” Hernandez said.

Contact information: My website is HernandezNM.com, email is joshua@hernandeznm.com. You can also like my page at Facebook.com/HernandezforNM.

 

Brenda Grace Agoyothé McKenna

 Sen. Brenda McKenna, Democrat, District 9

What piece of legislation were you particularly proud to have worked on during the 60-day legislative session?

State Sen. Brenda McKenna, Democrat-Corrales, said she is proud to have co-sponsored Senate Bill 32, the Wildlife Conservation & Public Safety Act.

“This legislation will ban traps, snares and wildlife poisons on public lands in New Mexico. This legislation is also a long time coming (at least since 2013). Too many of our pets and four-legged friends have suffered from strangulation or catastrophic injuries because of these devices,” she said.

What are you looking forward to working on in the 30-day legislative session next year?

“We were told because of COVID-19, at least 50 percent fewer bills would be passed. There were several economic recovery bills that I believe would help working families that were introduced this year but did not get a hearing. The Health Easy Enrollment Program, (HB 272) is a bill that would make it easy for a taxpayer who does not have insurance to get information and sign up. We need to pass the Predatory Lending Bill. I would have liked to see us cap payday loans at 36 percent (interest rate), down from the outrageous 175 percent that it is today. I look forward to continuing to work with Sen. (Pat) Woods on the Wild Horse Management bill, SB 385. I am very concerned about horses and residents in Placitas and around our state,” McKenna said.

What are your thoughts on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis?

“I fully support legalizing the recreational adult use of cannabis. I believe we’ll get it done. We must ensure that the bill is passed with provisions in place to undo the most lasting harm caused by the failed War on Drugs. For example, when we legalize cannabis, we must remove prior convictions for cannabis possession from people’s records for conduct that is now legal. I look forward to voting for this bill and the thousands of jobs that will develop once the governor signs it into law,” McKenna said.

Contact information: 397-8834 or brenda.mckenna@nmlegis.gov

 

Katy Duhigg

 Katy Duhigg, Democrat, District 10

What piece of legislation were you particularly proud to have worked on during the 60-day legislative session?
State Sen. Katy Duhigg, D-Albuquerque, co-sponsored senate bill 71.
“I am also proud to have been the lead sponsor of SB 71, the Patient’s Debt Collection Protection Act, which will ensure that low income New Mexicans are not crippled by medical debt, while also supporting medical providers by making sure that they are paid for the care they provide,” Duhigg said.

What are you looking forward to working on in the 30-day legislative session next year?
“This session was very productive, but there is always more we can do. We came close to passing a bill that would curb predatory lending in New Mexico by lowering the current interest rate on small loans from 175 percent to 36 percent. I plan to continue to work on this issue in the next session,” she said.

What are your thoughts on legalizing the recreational use of cannabis?
“It is time to get this done. Legalization will help diversify our economy by bringing tens of thousands of jobs to our state and millions in tax revenue that we can put back into our communities. I’m part of the team that is refining this legislation for the special session and I am working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get this done in a safe and responsible way,” Duhigg said.

Contact information: 397-8823 or katy.duhigg@nmlegis.gov

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Assistant Editor at Rio Rancho Observer