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Part Two: Rookie legislator reflects on first session

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Politics > Garcia Richard will seek re-election

By The Staff

Second of two parts

Talk about some of the legislation that you sponsored and the bills and memorials that passed.

I am happy to have had four memorials and two bills pass this session.  They included:
HB 107 — would allow small municipalities to transfer revenue from traffic fines to their general fund. Communities like Jemez Springs currently cannot access these funds even though they belong to the community. This bill fixes the problem.
HB 562 — would create the Technology Research Collaborative to establish advanced technology centers and develop new intellectual property for the state. The institutions participating in the collaborative would include all national laboratories, other major research institutes and all of the post-secondary educational institutions in New Mexico. The New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology would act as fiscal agent for the collaborative.
HJM 10 — Requests the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to encourage development of renewable energy storage by identifying and prioritizing legislative and regulatory incentives; convening a working group of stakeholders to compile an inventory of major existing renewable energy storage policies and regulations; developing legislative recommendations and alternatives to incentivize renewable energy storage technologies; and integrating this effort into that of other existing task forces, working groups, or agency activities already underway.
HJM 33 — Calls upon the City of Santa Fe to give priority to the release of sufficient reclaimed water during the growing season to downstream users of La Cieneguilla, La Cienega and La Bajada and the Pueblo of Cochiti to sustain historic agricultural traditions.
HM 29 — Proclaims February 20, 2013 as “Support the New Mexico Alliance of YMCAs Day” in the House of Representatives.
HM 71 —Urges members of New Mexico’s Congressional Delegation to support continued or increased federal funding for New Mexico’s national laboratories and DOE facilities so that they can continue their national missions and remain critical partners in the economic welfare of New Mexico.
I was also able to appropriate capital outlay funds for a variety of projects including $160,000 for Los Alamos Middle School to complete roof repairs as part of their current remodeling.
As a body we were also able to close the tax loophole known as “combined reporting.” Until now, out-of-state corporations were able to avoid paying part or all of their New Mexico income taxes. We closed that loophole thereby leveling the playing field for our in-state corporations. This was part of a larger corporate tax overhaul and is an issue I campaigned on. I am glad we were able to accomplish it in my first session.

So are you running in 2014?

Of course I am running in 2014.  I spent three years of my life fighting to serve House District 43 and I will continue to do so until I feel all the great work I have set out to accomplish is completed. We’ve made a great start in this first session. I’ve secured fantastic committee assignments, have developed close partnerships with leadership and am well positioned to serve our community. I will be hosting town halls throughout the district in April and look forward to hearing from residents about additional improvements that are needed in their communities.  I intend to maintain the same open door policy I have had from the beginning and welcome all opinions and discussions as we look to the 2014 legislative session.

Do you have any other political aspirations?

No. Right now my only desire is to serve as a New Mexico State Representative for House District 43 and work every day to leave a better legacy for our children and schools. 

What would you do differently this time around?

With any job, there was a major learning curve. Although some votes were tough, I stand behind every decision I made this session because I truly believe they were the best choices for House District 43.  I feel confident in my ability to navigate the legislature even better in 2014 and I hope residents notice a more vocal and proactive version of me on the House floor.  

What is it like this week back in the classroom?

It is a blessing being able to go back into the classroom just hours after adjournment and focus on my other passion, teaching. The session can wear you down, but it is amazing how my kids in classroom B5 can hug tight enough to make me forget I just spent 60 days at the Roundhouse. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my school district and the community of teachers and parents who helped make my first session possible.