The League of Women Voters® is organized at the National, State, and Local levels. Each League can have its own specific positions on issues, such that all Leagues respect the National positions and all Local Leagues respect their State’s positions. Positions are arrived at by consensus of the membership, after study and discussion.
The 2016-2018 publication of LWV US’s positions is “Impact on Issues”.
LWVNM may adopt and use new positions after consensus is achieved and once they are formally accepted by the Board. In odd-numbered years, LWVNM Convention delegates formally vote to adopt the new, updated, and continuing positions or to drop or modify them.
(Adopted May 21, 2017) Reorganized June 25, 2017
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that potential impacts on sustainability should be considered in formulating new positions and in advocating using current positions. Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the current generation without impairing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
(Adopted 1962: revised 1987, 2015, 2017)
Judges of the higher courts should be appointed by the governor from a screened list submitted from a non-partisan nominating commission and be subject, at intervals, to election for retention or rejection.
The League believes that the justice system must be adequately funded in order to carry out its goals. Funding of specialized programs for offenders, including behavioral health (i.e. mental health and substance abuse treatment), is essential. The League supports sufficient funding to guarantee humane prison conditions and to provide programs and services that offer the opportunity for self-improvement. The League believes that state funding should be provided for alternatives to incarceration.
There must be adequate personnel for all courts.
The League supports the expansion of prevention and treatment programs to ease the burden on the criminal justice system. The League supports the concept of pretrial diversion.
The League supports development of alternatives to incarceration through community-based programs with emphasis on diversion and reintegration into the community. These programs should be separate from correctional facilities. The League supports alternative or therapeutic courts and pre-trial diversion programs. The community must be educated regarding these alternatives.
The League opposes mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses. In general, alternatives to imprisonment should be explored and utilized, taking into consideration the circumstances and nature of the crime.
The League supports an adequately funded government-supported public defender program that provides legal aid to those unable to pay.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports the repeal of the death penalty and the institution of a sentence of life in prison without parole as an alternative.
If the death penalty is reinstated, LWVNM supports the implementation of the recommendations in the Final Report of the State Bar of New Mexico Task Force to Study the Administration of the Death Penalty in New Mexico (January 2004) including:
LWVNM believes that the system should provide:
(Adopted 2009; revised 2013)
LWVNM supports a redistricting process and standards that provide the people with a meaningful choice in electing their representatives and facilitate holding government accountable.
The criteria for preparing redistricting maps should require that districts meet all Federal criteria including equal population and the provisions of the Voting Rights Act. In addition, it is important that districts
The League supports having an independent commission or other independent group develop redistricting plans meeting these criteria.
The public must have access to all information used in the redistricting process on a timely basis and have the opportunity to comment and be heard on the proposed redistricting processes, criteria, and results.
(Adopted 1993; revised 1999, 2002, 2007)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that methods of financing political campaigns and public offices should ensure the public’s right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, maximize fiscal accountability and transparency, and allow maximum citizen participation in the political process.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports legislative compensation that is fair and reasonable, recognizing that there is a cost to government and that the cost should be paid by the taxpayers of New Mexico.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports a fair, equitable and reasonable combination of public/private funding of campaigns for New Mexico state elective offices. Participation in the public/private financing should be voluntary. Participants should agree to voluntary spending limits. The legislation should provide for a source of revenue to fund the program.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports limits on gifts and contributions to candidates for elected offices and to the holders of elected and appointed offices.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports firm and consistent enforcement of campaign finance, gift and contribution reporting laws with significant penalties for non-compliance and wide public dissemination of reports.
An independent office or commission should have the authority to oversee campaign finance and gift laws as well as other ethics rules and lobbying laws, to receive allegations and complaints, to conduct investigations and to present cases to the appropriate enforcement agencies.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports a New Mexico Constitution which is concise and comprehensible, providing a basic framework adaptable to present and future needs of state government. LWVNM supports a less restrictive amending process in the Constitution.
(Adopted 1969; revised 1999, revised 2001, 2007, 2018)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports
(Adopted 1969; revised 1983, 1995)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports four-year terms for state executive officers, preferably elected in non-presidential years with limitation of two consecutive terms in the same office. LWVNM supports a shortened ballot.
(Adopted 1969; revised 2000)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports home rule for municipalities.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports a combined form of city/county government.
(Adopted 2012; revised 2013)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports the following with respect to the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) and the entity regulating insurance:
(Adopted 1971; revised 1975, 1983, 1989, 2017)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that a fair tax must be
The tax system in New Mexico should be progressive. LWVNM may support taxes that are regressive if it is determined that the tax will achieve a socially desirable objective.
In evaluating the average burden of taxation within the state, taxes should be compared with income of New Mexico residents; in comparing the burden of taxation in New Mexico with the burden imposed by other states, state and local taxes should be combined.
Tax credits and/or deductions should be evaluated based on promotion of equity and the efficiency with which they achieve their purpose.
Tax credits may be a means of providing relief from the regressive nature of the sales and property tax.
The League believes it is the state’s obligation to collect revenues to fund services that are generally state responsibilities, rather than depend on cities and counties to raise the funds.
(Adopted 1954; revised 1983)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports a merit system of selection, retention, promotion and dismissal of personnel in state government.
(Adopted 1992; revised 1995)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico opposes term limits for our state legislators.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico (LWVNM) expects all state and local governments, executive and legislative, to follow the requirements of the New Mexico Open Meetings Act (OMA) and Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).
LWVNM also recommends that all state and local governments, executive and legislative, adopt the following policies and practices regarding open meetings and public records, over and above what is legally required by the OMA and the IPRA, within reasonable budget constraints:
LWVNM recommends that state and local governments go beyond open meetings and inspection of public records in their efforts toward open, accessible governance. We especially recommend these practices:
(Adopted 1976; revised 1987, 2015)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that government should promote and ensure responsible stewardship of our natural, human, and cultural resources, particularly in the face of growth and development.
The League supports the conservation and protection of wildlife and their habitats for the contribution they make toward the health and sustainability of the environment.
An essential prerequisite for protecting our resources is to require comprehensive analysis of the environmental and fiscal impacts of applications before issuing a development permit.
The League believes that government must conduct its programs, policies, and activities in a manner that promotes equity and affords fair treatment, accessibility, and protection for all residents, regardless of race, age, culture, income, or geographic location.
The League finds that the responsible management of our land is critically important to ensure the long-term health and well-being of all New Mexicans, to protect the resilience of our urban and rural communities, and to preserve habitats and natural landscapes for the continued viability of all species.
The League further notes that land use is inextricably linked with other important issues such as water, energy, food, transportation, air quality, and climate change. Strategic planning at the local, regional, and state levels must not consider land use in isolation. Government subsidies for development should only be approved when the benefit to society justifies the full cost and outweighs any detriment to the natural environment.
The League believes that, as the responsible steward of our land use resources, state government should
Transparency and public participation in decision-making must be part of the process at all levels of government.
A substantial portion of the land in New Mexico is controlled by the State Land Office (SLO). The LWVNM believes that the SLO should practice transparency and accountability in its actions and should include local communities in decision-making. The State Legislature should ensure that the State Land Commissioner has the support needed to maximize profits and minimize administrative costs, while protecting the environment and preserving the long-term value of the land.
The League believes it is important to integrate transportation into land use planning. To reduce vehicle miles traveled, it is essential to encourage alternatives to the single occupant vehicle. Thus, the League supports government decisions to
The League calls for government agencies responsible for transportation planning to reach out to the general public to improve public participation in transportation-related decisions. All future road projects should take into account the needs of all people.
LWVNM recognizes the vital contribution that New Mexico farmers and ranchers make to our health and welfare by supplying us with food and promoting a vibrant economy for the state. LWVNM urges the state to work with the industry to promote research and education about more sustainable agricultural practices. As stewards of our natural and human resources, we must preserve healthy local ecosystems for future generations.
The LWVNM urges the State of New Mexico to
The League supports programs that protect clean air. Effective air pollution controls should be implemented for both stationary and mobile sources of emissions.
The New Mexico Environment Department is the chief regulatory agency responsible for air quality protection in the state. It is important that the public has access to the regulation development process and that the subsequent permitting and enforcement ensure that air quality is protected from deterioration. Permitting and enforcement must be performed in a transparent manner.
The League supports policies that
The scientific evidence is clear that our climate is changing and that human activities resulting in the emission of CO 2 and other greenhouse gases are significant factors in the heating of the planet. The League supports policies and incentives that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting greater energy efficiency; by developing clean, renewable energy sources; and by encouraging further research on alternatives to the combustion of fossil fuels for energy. Industries in New Mexico should be required to pursue carbon reduction strategies. The League also believes that government should educate the public about how to reduce individual carbon footprints and should offer incentives to do so.
The League supports
The League supports stringent regulations to protect ground and surface water quality from pollution that can impact human health as well as the natural flora and fauna. Such regulations must be strictly enforced.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that consumptive use of water in New Mexico must be in balance with renewable supply. Healthy ecosystems naturally perform services that benefit both people and nature, such as cleaning water, reducing floods, and creating fish and wildlife habitat. To secure the benefits of functioning ecosystems and to conserve New Mexico’s biodiversity, sufficient water must be budgeted for environmental flows. The creation and adherence to comprehensive water budgets is essential to preserve public lands, water, and open space, and to ensure that there will be enough water for future generations of New Mexicans. The state, water regions, and local governments must
Conservation of water and efficiency of use must be encouraged to enable New Mexico to meet its interstate compact obligations, to help balance use with supply, to relieve stress on the physical system, and to reduce net depletion.
The League supports continued funding for regional planning. Using a public process, regional planning should
Local land use plans should be required to be consistent with applicable regional water plans.
The public welfare statements of a regional water plan should be considered by the State Engineer when reviewing applications for transfer of water rights.
Land use and development must be tied to water availability. To encourage this
Local zoning and subdivision statutes should be updated. State and local governments should collaborate in addressing the problem of antiquated subdivisions in order to facilitate planning and to make the water budget process meaningful.
State government and the legal process must work to reconcile the many claims on New Mexico water in a manner that is open and as fair as possible. Among other considerations
The Office of the State Engineer should be adequately funded to execute its functions. In addition
Government should support research on water-related issues including
Governments at every level must educate citizens by developing and disseminating data about water resources. Local governments must promulgate and enforce regulations promoting conservation, including positive incentives and rate structures.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports current and future efforts to increase the availability of safe, decent, and affordable housing for moderate and low income households through the following actions.
(Adopted 1978; revised 1983, 2003)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes there should be an adequate supply of good quality child care throughout New Mexico, both in child care centers and in family day care homes, to be implemented by
(Adopted 1977; Revised 1978, 1979, 1985, 1993, 1995, 2003, 2015)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that our state has no resource of greater importance than its children. Programs, personnel and facilities that promote and encourage the child’s fullest development must be a high priority within the private sector as well as in city, county and state governments.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that social, economic and legal concerns must be interconnected for the fair and equitable treatment of all children.
The League of Women Voters supports a continuum of services that is available to all children and their families.
The programs in the continuum should include, but not be limited to: prevention , intervention, family support, education, enhancement of physical, emotional, and social well- being; substitute care; and juvenile justice programs. The programs and associated services in the continuum should be community-based wherever feasible.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports the establishment of rigorous standards for all facilities serving children and youth and the development of clear professional guidelines for all staff members. Programs should include but not be restricted to
The League of Women Voters New Mexico supports economic development with a focus on
The League of Women Voters New Mexico believes that the state should have a strong leadership role in planning, implementing, and funding economic development. This role should include
(Adopted 1987; revised 1995, 2009, 2015, 2016, 2017)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico (LWVNM) believes that education is the cornerstone for perpetuating a strong and viable democracy. The public education system should impart to all students an understanding of the nature of democracy and the responsibilities of citizenship, the ability to think critically, and the skills necessary to continue to learn and function as adults in a complex society.
The League supports public schools as the primary method of educating students. The League opposes the presence of private, for-profit companies in the governance, management, and provision of public education. LWVNM believes that a regionally elected State Board of Education should be responsible for appointing a Superintendent of Public Instruction and directing education policy, regulation, and finances.
LWVNM supports the following strategies to ensure the greatest possible academic success for all students:
Practices for Student Success:
Early Childhood Education:
Secure collaboration among a broad base of community organizations, social service agencies, and schools to enhance the development of children from birth to age five to prepare them for success in kindergarten and beyond.
Evaluation of Teachers, Students, and School Performance:
(Adopted 1973; revised 1983, 1993, 2002, 2007, 2015)
Use a distribution formula that reflects differences in student needs, teacher experience and qualifications, the number of schools and students in a district, level of education, capital outlay, and transportation requirements.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that every student should have access to a high quality, publicly funded education regardless of race, ethnicity, family income, or geographical location. The League believes in accountability, transparency, and equity in the use of public funds for education.
Charter schools are discretionary programs intended to fill unmet needs and/or to test innovative instructional strategies to produce quality educational outcomes. Policy makers must ensure that adequate funds are available for traditional public schools and define how charter schools fill unmet needs. Appropriate instructional and support services must be provided in all public schools to meet the diverse needs of individual students.
Regarding the mission of charter schools, the LWVNM believes the following:
For the sake of assuring accountability and transparency and minimizing the fiscal impact, LWVNM recommends the following:
LWVNM believes that public funding for virtual schools should be less per student since the schools do not require brick and mortar facilities.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports policies, legislation, and programs that enable a small dollar loan market that maintains access to affordable credit while safeguarding consumers.
The League believes that a loan is affordable if the borrower can repay the loan and cover basic expenses without borrowing again or obtaining money from another source. Governments should be able to regulate lending in order to achieve a viable small dollar loan market that provides consumer access to affordable credit and safeguards against predatory lending. Criminal charges and penalties for loans in default should be explicitly prohibited by New Mexico law.
The League supports:
(LWVUS position on Gun Control in brief)
Protect the health and safety of citizens through limiting the accessibility and regulating the ownership of handguns and semi-automatic weapons. Support regulation of firearms for consumer safety.
(Adopted 1991; revised 1993, 2005, 2007, 2017)
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports a health care system that provides a comprehensive level of health care for New Mexico residents and recognizes the need for efficient management of health care costs.
The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that public policy in a pluralistic society must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices.
Every New Mexico resident should have a comprehensive level of health care. The League favors a national health insurance plan, but until one is in place, the League supports expansion of state and federal plans. (Revised and adopted 2005.)
LWVNM believes that any health system implemented should have the following:
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico:
LWVNM believes that alleviating poverty is the shared responsibility of government, employers, individuals, and non-profit assistance organizations. All sectors should be involved in setting an adequate minimum wage or living wage. The living wage is the minimum required to avoid poverty without government assistance and subsidies. The living wage (gross income) should cover the costs of food, clothing, housing, energy, transportation, health care, K-12 education, child-care, taxes (income, Social Security), and supplemental expenses for work and school.
The LWVNM supports the passage by the state legislature of a minimum wage law tied to the cost of living and also supports the passage of minimum wage ordinances by local governments, if they perceive a need.
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico (LWVNM) expects state and local governments to support an adequately funded mental health care system that provides comprehensive services to the acutely, chronically and seriously mentally ill of all ages; maintains optimal mental health services for all clients; places emphasis on meeting the needs of children; offers mental health services for the homeless; seeks additional funds for preventive services; implements a master plan to integrate services; raises awareness of critical unmet needs; and emphasizes case management.
LWVNM specifically supports
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that a free and open Internet is increasingly important to the protection of individual liberties – freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of association – guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. LWVNM also believes that net neutrality protections are essential for political discourse, dissemination of news, and democratic participation. Therefore, LWVNM supports protecting the open, neutral, nondiscriminatory nature of the Internet.
Universal High-Speed Internet for New Mexico
High-speed affordable Internet access is an essential service that should be readily available to all New Mexico residents and businesses. State and local government policies should support affordable broadband, wireless, and other means of high-speed Internet deployment throughout the state and should encourage consumer choice in broadband providers. Furthermore, LWVNM supports making high-speed Internet access available to all New Mexico residents, without charge, through schools, libraries, and other secure public buildings.
Efficient, high-speed access to the Internet for all New Mexico residents – regardless of geographic location or neighborhood demographics – is a necessity for assuring equal access to local and state government, for maintaining openness and transparency in government activities, for communicating with legislative leaders, for engaging in political discourse, for competing in the global marketplace, and for assuring that voters receive the information they need to participate in our democracy.
Public Access Media
LWVNM believes that community access television and radio channels — for public, educational, and governmental programming — must be adequately protected, promoted, and funded for New Mexico residents. Community access media should be available on basic service tiers and over the Internet. Government should provide opportunities for citizen participation in decisions regarding community access media.
Access to the public airwaves is essential to the public interest and to the League of Women Voters’ mission and purpose: to protect civil liberties, to ensure open, transparent government, and to promote the public’s right to know.
(Adopted 1984; revised 2002, 2003, 2007, 2015)
The term “drug” is meant to include all addictive drugs, including alcohol. The League of Women Voters of New Mexico supports:
The League of Women Voters of New Mexico believes that alcohol abuse is a public health issue and can be most effectively approached as such.
To address the impact of alcohol abuse, the League supports the following:
The League’s priorities for taking action to reduce alcohol abuse are:
LWVNM may adopt and use new positions after consensus is achieved and once they are formally accepted by the Board. In odd-numbered years, LWVNM Convention delegates formally vote to adopt the new, updated, and continuing positions or to drop or modify them.