Legislature Wrap Up – Part 2.
We continue our series of interviews with local legislators by sitting down with Representative Carl Trujillo of Nambe. The Valley Daily Post reporters are sitting down with our region’s state legislators to talk to them about the 2015 session. We hear from them what this session means to New Mexico and the Valley (See our interview with Rep. Nick Salazar HERE).
For this interview we present the responses to you directly from Representative Trujillo in video. You may pick and choose which questions you listen to or watch the compiled interview as a whole.
Legislature Wrap Up Interview With Representative Carl Trujillo
Representative Carl Trujillo is the representative for the 46th District which includes parts of the cities of Santa Fe and Espanola, all of Pojoaque, Nambe and other areas.
He lives in his family home in Nambe with his wife Ellen and youngest son, Thomas.
Representative Trujillo is one of the Valley’s newest lawmakers, first elected in 2012 and taking office in January 2013. He serves on the House Ways & Means Committee (formerly Taxation & Revenue) and Business & Employment (formerly Business & Industry). Representative Trujillo and his wife both work at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The Valley Daily Post met with Representative Trujillo a few weeks after the legislative session had ended. See below for video cuts of our interview and a brief synopsis of his comments:
VDP - What issues or legislation have you championed this year?
- Carried 16 different bills ranging from economic development, a spay/neuter program, domestic violence issues, and amending the motor vehicle act to allow three wheel vehicle on the road.
- Autocycle bill will allow three wheel cars called Autocycles on the roads. This is an inexpensive alternative to traditional cars that get 88 mpg and cost between $6,800 to $7,800 new, with warranty.
image of an autocycle. Courtesy of Tuscon .com
VDP - What bills will really affect northern New Mexico?
Carried House Bill 204. Currently only 41% of excise taxes for DWI prevention actually go to the fund. “We should make sure all the money intended for these programs go to these programs.” This bill takes an additional 5% from the excise tax withholdings and moves it to DWI programs across the state.
Health sunshine portal, or a website collecting data on cost and quality comparing hospitals across the state for to see how well they do and how much they charge for commonly performed procedures.
VDP - What bills will you be disappointed about if they do not pass?
“I am disappointed that House Bill 268, a domestic violence bill did not pass. Several months ago a constituent came to me and told me about an ex-boyfriend who had stalked her and became very violent. I looked around at other states to see what they were doing to help protect domestic violence victims and found a system which gives judges another tool to protect victims when an offender repeatedly violates a restraining order.”
Under this bill, in domestic violence cases that resulted in an order of protection and the offender violates the order, a judge could create exclusion zones where the offender cannot go. The offender would be monitored by an ankle bracelet and if they went into an exclusion zone the victim would immediately receive a text message or phone call telling them where the offender is located. This bill did not pass.
VDP- What are your feelings about the budget that came out this year?
The budget is the main objective for the legislature to meet. Was very relieved that we got this budget out. Any budget will not have 100% agreement but this one reflects compromise. Thinks it is a good budget.
VDP- How did this session compare to previous sessions?
- It was a little different. Republicans took control of the House for the first time in 60 years. Democrats lost their committee chairmanships which was different. The Republicans also restructured the way business is done in the House.
- Was very busy actively working bills to get them passed. Had eight bills reach the Senate so was often chasing them to keep them moving.
- With a swap of parties in charge, a lot of legislation that had never been heard before hit the floor. Had a lot of long debates over controversial issues, many long hours and in the end doesn’t think much was accomplished.
VDP- What do constituents in your district not know about you?
- Has four sons. “Many people think I don’t have any children or only one young one, but I have four sons who range in age from six years old to twenty nine. Many people are shocked…They are all boys…one lives in Colorado where he works. We are raising my youngest in the same house in Nambe where I raised my older boys.“
VDP- Final comments
- The district is all the way from the City of Santa Fe to the City of Espanola.