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Pop Quiz: State Senate District 24

Three Democrats hope to replace longtime Sen. Nancy Rodriguez

After Sen. Nancy Rodriguez, D-Santa Fe, revealed at the end of the 2024 legislative session that she would not run for re-election, three Democrats made bids for the District 24 seat, one of Santa Fe’s two main state senate districts, which encompasses much of the Southside and Agua Fría. The primary likely decides the contest, as no Republicans or Libertarians—the state’s other two major parties—have entered the race.

Per SFR’s ground rules, the candidates agree to not use any sources besides their own knowledge to answer the quiz questions. SFR records the conversations and reports the answers verbatim. Early voting in the June election began May 7. Find voting locations and additional information at sfreporter.com/elections

Questions:

  1. What are the four phases of the budget process, as defined by the New Mexico Legislature?
  2. Approximately how much more in recurring spending does the Fiscal Year 2025 budget allocate in comparison to the current year?
  3. Name five of the nine Senate session committees.
  4. Describe the two gun reform measures the governor signed into law following the 2024 regular session.
  5. How many years has Sen. Nancy Rodriguez served as the senator for District 24? Bonus points: Explain one piece of legislation sponsored solely by Rodriguez during the 2024 session and enacted into law by the governor.

Answers

  1. The four phases, defined as the budget cycle in the New Mexico Legislature’s glossary, are: preparation, enactment, execution and audit.
  2. The FY2025 budget represents a $653 million increase—or approximately 6.8% more—in recurring spending compared with the current year.
  3. The nine session committees are: the Committees’ Committee; the Conservation Committee; the Education Committee; the Finance Committee; the Health and Public Affairs Committee; the Indian, Rural and Cultural Affairs Committee; the Judiciary Committee; the Rules Committee; and the Tax, Business and Transportation Committee.
  4. The governor signed one bill to establish a seven-day waiting period on firearm purchases and another to ban firearms at polling places, each with certain exceptions.
  5. Sen. Nancy Rodriguez has been a senator since 1996—28 years total in office. Bonus: Rodriguez solely sponsored Senate Bill a bill to amend definitions within the New Mexico Finance Authority Act to allow funding for affordable housing projects. She also carried the bill authorizing capital outlay appropriations within state departments and for projects across New Mexico. Rodriguez secured $4.17 million for 34 projects, including $100,000 to create an access road from NM 599 to the Santa Fe Regional Airport and $200,000 to construct Santa Fe’s long-discussed Soccer Valley.

Anna Hansen, 75 (70/100)

Hansen is completing her second term on the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners and is barred by term limits from running again. In her capacity as commissioner and as a private citizen, she has served on numerous committees, including the Santa Fe River Commission, the Buckman Direct Diversion and Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety; she helped establish the environmental publication Green Fire Times, and previously worked as community development director of Oshara Village.

Answers:

  1. Four phases of the budget process for the New Mexico Legislature? So I think this is just another gotcha test. I don’t know. (0/20)
  2. Around 7% or 6.5% percent increase from the last year. So I’d say between 6 to 7%. (20/20)
  3. OK, the session committees. Conservation Committee, Finance Committee—um, those are the two I like—Rural and Indian Affairs, Economic and Rural Development Policy Committee. (12/20)
  4. One I think was on firearm sales, a waiting period, and the other was banning firearms near polling places. That’s what I remember. (20/20)
  5. 29 years. (18/20) Bonus: I know she had an affordable housing bill that she was requesting $50 million for and The Food Depot I’m sure she sponsored because she did that all the time. But I know that she did a bill on affordable housing, but she only got $5 million instead of $50 million. (No bonus points; Rodriguez, a longtime affordable housing advocate, did sponsor SB7, which would have allocated $500 million into the New Mexico Housing Trust, but that bill did not pass.).

Veronica Ray Krupnick, 28 (90/100)

Krupnick worked as a campaign assistant to House Majority Whip Rep. Reena Szczepanski, D-Santa Fe, and is now a leadership analyst and senate liaison for House Majority Leader Rep. Gail Chasey, D-Albuquerque. She cites protecting children and families as a main tenet of her campaign.

Answers:

  1. I believe our agencies go through their own process in order to get an appropriation in House Bill 2—our general Appropriations Act. I believe this goes to the committee or House Appropriations and Finance Committee, and that’s the committee that’s charged with putting together our initial proposal for that budget. And then of course, the budget has to go, has to be heard and passed through both chambers and ultimately agreed on and sent up to the governor to be signed. (10/20)
  2. I have to think. I know our budget for this year was $10.2 billion. And I want to say last year’s was closer to $9.5 million. I’m trying to do the math real quick. I believe that was a little shy of a 7% increase, I want to say it was 6.7% or 6.8%. (20/20)
  3. Sorry, my mind’s blinking a little. OK, I want to say we have the Committees Committee, which kind of oversees the whole Senate. I know we have the Conservation Committee; the Education Committee; the Finance Committee; the Rules Committee; Indian, Rural and Cultural Affairs Committee; Health and Public Affairs Committee; the Judiciary Committee; and the Tax and Business Committee, I think. (20/20)
  4. One of them was the seven-day waiting period and the second one I believe is the no handguns at polling places aside from the concealed carry law exemption. (20/20)
  5. A little shy of 29. I believe she was sworn in in 1996. I only remember that because I was born in ‘95. (20/20) Bonus: Oh, you got me there. Just taking an educated guess that it had to do with the Housing Trust Fund. I don’t think she’s the only one on that but I know she’s been a champion on housing legislation. So that’s my best educated guess. (No bonus points.)

Linda Trujillo, 64 (88/100)

Prior to her bid for state Senate, Trujillo spent two terms as a state representative and also served on the Santa Fe Public School Board. Last October, she retired from the state as superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department.

Answers:

  1. So the executive submits a budget, the LFC submits a budget and then it goes through the House and the Senate and is signed by the governor. (10/20)
  2. I believe that it was near an additional 8%. (18/20)
  3. During the session. OK, so there is the Finance Committee, there is the Conservation Committee, there is the Public Health Committee, there’s the Judiciary Committee, and there’s the Rules Committee. (20/20)
  4. One was to require no guns on site at a polling location—and I believe within 100 feet of the polling location—and the other was a seven-day waiting period to purchase a weapon. (20/20)
  5. 28. (20/20) Bonus: I don’t know that answer. (No bonus points.)
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