Focus on: Return Marian Matthews for NM House District 27
By Patty French
As a new legislator faced with a world turned upside-down by the pandemic, Rep. Marian Matthews decided big challenges should be met with energy, not fear, and with bold but prudent leadership, which is why she was a sponsor of the Small Business Recovery Act in the June special session. Faced with the economic fallout from COVID, the legislature swiftly enacted a $400 million economic stimulus package – a financial lifeline for thousands of locally owned, small businesses that employ almost 50% of New Mexicans.
Marian Matthews was appointed by the Bernco County Commission at the start of 2020 to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Bill Pratt, who died in December 2019. She’s committed to working hard to keep the seat blue. There are bills she sponsored which didn’t pass but which she wants to see become law. These would:
- Expand the civil statute of limitations for child victims of sexual abuse
- Make it easier for first responders who suffer from PTSD (and COVID-19) to qualify for worker’s compensation
- Move forward a pilot project to treat methamphetamine addiction
Other issues that Marian Matthews believes need action include:
- Phasing out private prisons
- Improving the capital outlay process
- Rebuilding our behavioral health system, expanding health care coverage, and reducing prescription costs (related to her service on the Health and Human Services Committee)
Rep. Matthews’ legislative priorities reflect her somewhat eclectic career path. She’s a lawyer, former prosecutor, and was deputy attorney general for Tom Udall. She has also been an advocate for children with disabilities and those in a child abuse and treatment program. In addition, she’s taught entrepreneurship to diverse classes of students at CNM.
Her goal is to be an effective problem-solver and leader who helps create policies that meet multiple needs and generate multiple benefits, such as investing in quality child care. She believes increasing support to help working and in-school parents access quality and affordable child care will:
- Improve the financial and emotional stability of New Mexico’s families
- Better our children’s educational outcomes, socialization, and potential
- Generate wealth by increasing the earnings of child care workers
- Provide employers with employees who are less stressed, better able to focus, and less likely to miss work
Rep. Matthews won the June primary with more than 68 percent of the vote. She’s running to continue representing her district, fighting for an economy that works for all New Mexicans, and building a safe environment and society that values and supports our children and families.