Important Issues for District 27

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ISSUES

HEALTH CARE

 

I am a retired geriatrician.  I am a candidate for HD 27 because I want to make health care better for New Mexicans.  Health care should be affordable with reasonable premiums, minimal co-pays and deductibles.  You should not have to make choices between needed health care and other necessities.  You should not be hit with surprise medical bills.  I have implemented health care systems that avoid those choices for patients.  I have the knowledge to help the House pass sensible health care legislation.

 

New Mexico also has to deal with the shortage of providers.  We need to continually look at debt relief and tuition reimbursement and review how those programs may be modified to make them more successful at attracting these providers.  But we also need to look at ways to make the providers that we have more efficient.  Increased use of telehealth is one option.  Creating more team approaches is another.  I have experience in both these models

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Public Safety is a major issue in this district.  Multiple factors are driving the crime rate.  Some of the issues and solutions are local, but the Legislature and the State also play a significant role.  The Legislature is responsible for providing funding to the city for equipment and technology to aid the city in its effort at criminal enforcement and we need to ensure that the funding is there.  Behavioral Health issues are a major contributor, including mental illness, drug addiction and resulting homelessness.  The legislature needs to work to bolster the behavioral health system and to ensure that State rules are not interfering with access to drug treatment and mental health treatment.  I applaud the new homeless shelter and the city’s continued effort to build affordable housing.  We need to help those efforts.  Albuquerque is the gateway to New Mexico and the first impression of Albuquerque needs to be positive.

 

Secondly, I am hopeful that the Statewide task force looking at pretrial detention will come up with solutions that both protect the district and respect the rights of individuals.

 

Finally, we do need common-sense gun laws, including a “red flag” law.  Better gun laws will not alone reduce crime but they may result in less death and injury.

ELDER POVERTY

 

New Mexico has one of the highest rate of elders living in poverty in the United States.  The recent publication from THINK NEW MEXICO had some excellent thoughts on helping reduce that rate in the long term.  An easy, quick fix is to eliminate the State tax on Social Security benefits for retirees with income below a certain threshold as do many states.  It makes no sense for our State Tax system to contribute to the rate of elderly poverty.

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Dr. William Orr understands the first role of government is providing a safe community for citizens. Until we have a safe neighborhoods we can't attract quality jobs, keep our smartest and brightest kids, and attract qualified employees to re-locate to New Mexico.

CLIMATE CHANGE

 

New Mexico has a real dilemma.  The State gets a large share of its money from Oil and Gas Exploration and Production.  The industry provides many good paying jobs for many New Mexicans.  Yet we know that the Oil and Gas Industry damages the environment, contributes to climate change and uses too much of our scarce water supply.  In the short term, we need to limit its damage to our environment by working collaboratively, but from a position of strength, with the industry.  In the long run, we need to develop our wind and solar energy production and the transmission lines to export that energy to the rest of the nation.  The income from wind and sun will make us less dependent on the extractive industries and promote a cleaner and safer environment.  Finally, we need to promote the reduction in the State’s carbon footprint and encourage that reduction with our citizens.

 

Paid for by Citizens for William Orr

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