Candidate Profile: House District 64

Editor’s note: The Clovis News Journal asked District 64 state representative candidates to answer the following questions in 200 words or less. The answers were edited for spelling and style. The general election is Nov. 4.

Democrat

Mario Trujillo

Age: 62

Occupation: County clerk

Elected offices held: City commissioner and county clerk

• What is your stance on a proposed funding formula backed by state education organizations?

I believe we need a new funding formula that will help all our children, teachers, schools, and administrators. Having been an educator for 25 years, I understand that our funding formula has become obsolete. It has not kept pace with our schools’ growth and needs. Even if all our bonds pass in our General Election, the funding formula still needs to be changed if we are to help keep our schools functioning to their best potential. This formula will need to be maintained and kept up to date so that it provides for accountability. I agree that our school boards will need to provide a long-range strategic educational plan for success with the new formula. I want to see students’ needs met by having good buildings and programs, and I want to be able to attract and keep qualified teachers by providing them with the necessary tools so they can do their jobs as effectively as they can.

• What is your stance on a state-funded universal healthcare package proposed by Gov. Bill Richardson? What is your alternative?

A state-funded universal health care package as proposed by Gov. Bill Richardson would be expensive to implement. There has to be a way to fund it. I know he got a healthcare package passed this year that will insure all our children.

At every county commission meeting, I have seen our commissioners pay thousands of dollars for indigent patients in Curry County. These are people who don’t have insurance or can’t afford it. Then at the end of every year, the hospital also requests Sole Community Provider funding to help make up for some of the indigent care they have provided our citizens. This amount is always hundreds of thousands of dollars. That, to me, is a form of universal healthcare that the rest of us who have insurance have to help pay.

Those who make decisions about medical care need to recognize that resources are expensive and they have to weigh the costs against the benefits for any proposed action.

An alternative might be to make health insurance more affordable by adopting a managed and preventative health care system that would reduce premiums for individuals and families who receive services such as annual physical exams, breast and cervical cancer screenings, cholesterol and high blood pressure screenings and tobacco cessation interventions for people who use tobacco products.

• How would you vote on legislation regarding domestic partnership addressing same-sex couples?

As county clerk, I see this as just another way of having to issue a license for a union between two people of the same sex. They are using this mask of a domestic partnership agreement to achieve what they want — a marriage. I don’t believe something like this should be forced on us. Based on my moral beliefs, I am against this. A marriage should only be a union between a man and a woman. People that are partners can create contracts to achieve what they want much like some couples do with pre-nuptial agreements. A good lawyer can develop a domestic partnership agreement for these people so that county clerks won’t have to issue domestic partnership licenses.

• Should legislative conference committee meetings be open to the public?