Senators receive the same reimbursements as Wyoming House members, $105 per day of work. The term of office is four years; there are no term limits. Voters receive a ballot containing only the candidate from the correct SD, based on residence. All Senate Districts are required to be about the same population statewide, so they may cross country boundaries. The only vacancy this year is for Senate District 10, which includes a portion of Laramie on the east and most of rural Albany County. The winner will join Senator Chris Rothfuss (D) of Senate District 9 (western portions of Laramie area), and Larry Hicks (R) of Senate District 11(Rock River and surrounding area), whose terms do not expire.
What motivates you to run and makes you especially suited for this public office?
Narina Nunez (SD 10): I am a Professor of Psychology at the University, and my husband and I are part owners of TNT Motorsports in Laramie. That makes me well suited to represent the “town and gown” interests in Albany County. I was very disappointed in the decisions made during the past legislative sessions. For example, the Legislature approved over $400 million in new capital construction during the last session, while rejecting Medicaid expansion money, knowing the state was facing a budget crisis. That doesn’t make sense and isn’t fiscally responsible. We need some new voices in the Legislature to better represent us.
Glenn Moniz (SD 10): With 26+ years in the fire service and 14 years running a successful business, and 4 terms being your representative, I can bring common sense, dedication, respect and leadership as your senator. My public career has given me a deep appreciation for the problems inherent in providing emergency services at the local level. My life as a business owner has provided me with a perspective on the problems dealing with government regulations and all the issues of providing a living wage, health care benefits and a decent work environment. I know what it takes to meet a payroll.
Under what circumstances would you advocate either for new taxes or use of the state’s Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account (“Rainy Day Fund”)?
Narina Nunez (SD 10): The state needs to make responsible plans for the Rainy Day Fund. I don’t advocate using all the money in the fund, but we should use some to smooth out budget cuts. If you make cuts that are too deep, you risk throwing our state into a recession. I also think we should look for places to raise revenue. For example, I would suggest raising ATV and snowmobile permits for out of state visitors. Currently, tourists pay the same as people from the state. We don’t do that for hunting and fishing licenses. Why not look at things like this?
Glenn Moniz (SD 10): I would not advocate for any new taxes until we have exhausted all other avenues to balance our budget. New sources of revenue, budget reductions and savings should be considered. Constitutional Amendment A, if passed, would also help increase our investment portfolio. We have already used the LSRA to balance our budget with Local government distributions and School facilities for a total of ($185,000,000). SF68, Budget Shortfall Measures, put some side boards on the recommended annual burn rate of the LSRA at 5 percent of the balance of the LSRA, based upon the beginning balance. This is simply a recommendation.
Do you support state legislation addressed to aquifer protection and other issues that cross local government boundaries? Explain.
Narina Nunez (SD 10): Several years ago the state considered legislation that would purchase land on the aquifer for future protection. I would support legislation like this, once the state is out of its budget crisis. In the meantime, I support giving more authority to the Wyoming Water Development Commission to include protecting the state’s drinking water. Issues like the aquifer and Laramie’s Parks and Rec plans should be done at the local level, with full cooperation between the City and County. If both entities agreed on a plan and needed state legislation to move forward, I would definitely help them achieve their goals.
Glenn Moniz (SD 10): No! Our local government is adequately qualified to address the issue of aquifer protection. They also have the use of Wyoming DEQ, the Wyoming State Engineers office and the Wyoming Water Development Commission, which is also equally qualified to protect Wyoming waters.