Q&A: House District 22 candidate Augustine Montoya

House of Representatives Candidate District 22 Augustine Montoya (Courtesy Augustine Montoya)

SURNAME: Augustine Montoya

POLITICAL PARTY: Democratically

OCCUPATION: Employee at Claunch Pinto Soil & Water Conservation


RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Legislative Assistant, New Mexico House of Representatives, 2021 Regular Session; Committee Assistant New Mexico House of Representatives 2022 Ordinary Session; Torrance County Bureau of Elections 2021 special and local elections 2021; Jessica Velasquez 4 NM 2018 & 2020; Claunch Pinto Soil & Water Conservation District 2016 to present; UNM Land Grant Studies Program 2018 Working Studies; Jerry & Augy’s Woodyard 23 Years (Family Business)

TRAINING: Honors Diploma Foreign Language – East Mountain High School; Bachelor of Humanities – UNM; focuses on prerogative and chicano/a studies


1. New Mexico relies heavily on the oil and natural gas industry to generate revenue to fund government programs, as evidenced by recent oil boom and bust cycles. What steps should lawmakers take to diversify the economy and government revenue base?

The New Mexico Legislature must: 1. Attract new industry with low water impact. 2. Increase tourism opportunities. 3. Hold current big corporations accountable for their share of our state. 4. Ensure the legal cannabis industry is sustainable over the long term. #Diversifythestatebudget

2. During the last regular legislature there was an unsuccessful push to make it easier to keep certain accused behind bars pending trial. Should New Mexico law be changed to make it easier to hold people accused of violent crimes, such as first-degree murder and child molestation, behind bars pending trial?

Guilty criminals must be brought to justice and violent criminals prevented from continuing to harm our communities. We must also look for new ways to combat relapse and mental health issues in New Mexico.

3. Given that New Mexico faces one of the highest rates of violent crime in the nation, what steps should lawmakers take to address crime and public safety?

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1. Expand access to mental and behavioral health care. 2. Rehabilitate nonviolent criminals to prevent recidivism. 3. Ensure violent criminals are brought to justice and re-offending is prevented. 4. Expand Resources to Communities.

4. In light of the US Supreme Court’s recent decision, Roe v. Wade to repeal the codification of abortion protections in state laws? And do you support or oppose the introduction of abortion restrictions in New Mexico?

Abortion bans merely change where and how safe abortions are sought. We see that in states that have banned, people just went elsewhere. As a result, we must ensure that abortion is safe and accessible when requested. Codification of abortion into state law is needed, and restrictions prevent safe access.

5. New Mexico has implemented several gun control laws in recent years. Would you support or oppose legislation banning or restricting the sale of AR-15 style semi-automatic weapons such as: B. raising the age limit for the purchase of such weapons? And what about legislation that criminalizes failing to safely secure firearms around children?

Restrictions such as background and mental health checks are critical. In addition, I believe that our children need to be educated about firearm safety. When a crime is committed by a child, the parents must be responsible for failing to bring up their child properly and for preventing the crime. #responsible gun owner

6. The state agency charged with keeping children safe in New Mexico has recently come under scrutiny over transparency issues and its handling of high profile child abuse cases. What changes would you support to improve the work of the Children, Youth and Family Department?

Ensure that child abuse in New Mexico is properly investigated and that CYFD is held accountable for its actions or omissions. In addition, the implementation of programs that oversee these operations. Also supporting programs such as CASA that work for the interests of the child.

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7. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax law?

I would support legislation that ensures our high street shops and large corporations have a level playing field. That means no big tax breaks to companies that unfairly outperform our local businesses.

8. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay a salary to its legislators, although legislators can receive daily payments and qualify for a state pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried legislature, and if so, how much should the legislature be paid?

Professionalize the state legislature and ensure ordinary people can make the policies that affect us. However, tie pay to the median income of the state or our educators so lawmakers understand the economic impact our working-class families and communities face.

9. What else, if anything, should lawmakers do to challenge a court ruling that found New Mexico does not provide an adequate education for all students, particularly Native Americans and those who do not speak English as a first language?

1. Ensure language accessibility in every school. 2. More resources for overall coordination. 3. Involve indigenous peoples and indigenous communities in the political decision-making process. 4. Pay all educators appropriately and perform appropriately. 5. Expand broadband Internet connectivity in Native and Indigenous communities and rural New Mexico. 6. Support for the recommendations of the Martinez/Yazzie judgment.

10. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs such as home visitation, pre-kindergarten and child care assistance and established a new early childhood care trust. Do you support or oppose the proposed constitutional amendment in the November vote that would pull more money from the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-12 education?

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I support the change and am finding new ways to receive important funding for our schools and ultimately for our students and educators.

11. Do you support or oppose greenhouse gas emission cap laws that require the state to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 to address climate change and air quality?

I support strong legislation that ensures we reduce our emissions and reach net zero by 2050.

12. Do you think changes to a governor’s emergency powers should be made during a pandemic or other time of crisis? If so, do you think such powers should be increased or reduced and in what specific way?

I believe that contingency measures should be balanced with passage by a full-time paid legislature. That’s why we have checks and balances between the executive and the legislature.

13. Would you support a performance-based rating system to determine how governments are spending their investment funds?

I believe that all capital expenditures should be evaluated and reported to ensure funds are directed to projects that truly meet community and program needs.

14. Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claim that he is the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election? (Please only yes or no answers)


15. What changes to New Mexico’s electoral laws, if any, would you support?

I would like to see legislation that expands access to the right to vote and protects poll workers, district secretaries and voters from harassment and undue influence in elections.

personal background

1. If you are a business owner, have you or your business ever been subject to a state or federal tax lien?


2. Have you ever been involved in personal or company insolvency proceedings?


3. Have you ever been arrested, charged or convicted of drunk driving, a misdemeanor or felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain


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