Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino has served in the New Mexico State Senate for 15 years, representing District 12 in Albuquerque, NM. A Democrat, he was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Sen. Ortiz y Pino currently serves as Chairman of the Senate Public Affairs Committee and as Chairman of the interim committee on Health and Human Services and is a member of the Senate Rules Committee.
In the Senate, his special areas of focus have been health, mental health, drug policy, and school reform. Notable legislation Sen. Ortiz y Pino has passed includes Medical Marijuana, the Working Families Tax Credit, Creation of the Children’s Cabinet, Telemedicine covered by private insurance, Driver’s License Changes that permit undocumented New Mexicans to legally drive, Medicaid eligibility determined for Prison and Jail inmates, among others. He is currently working to pass the Legalization, Taxation, and Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis.
Jerry attended the University of New Mexico, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies. He received a Masters in social work from the Tulane University of Social Work in 1968. Afterward, he was Assistant Professor and Director of the Community Mental Health training program at the College of Santa Fe (1971-74) and Director of program evaluation for the New Mexico Highlands University Social Work Management Training Center (1977-79). Jerry has also taught courses in Criminology and Sociology at the College of St. Francis (1981-83) and Human Resources Development courses for Webster University (1983-88).
Sen. Ortiz y Pino is a retired social worker with 40 years of professional social work experience in New Mexico, including Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Taos, Santa Fe, and, since 1976, Albuquerque. He has worked in the public and private sectors, serving as Maternal and Child Health Bureau Chief for the NM Department of Health; Director of the Family and Community Services Department at the City of Albuquerque; Director of the Albuquerque office of Human Affairs International, an employee assistance firm; Community Relations Director for United Way of Central New Mexico; and Director of the Child and Family Food Program, HELP-New Mexico.
An active member of his community, Sen. Ortiz y Pino founded La Familia Adoption and Foster Care Services in 1987. He is also the founder of four charter high schools for drop-out students: Robert F. Kennedy (2001); Cesar Chavez (Albuquerque) (2003); Cesar Chavez (Deming) (2007) and the Gordon Bernell Charter at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Albuquerque (2008). Additionally, he serves as the Treasurer for Friends of the Children of El Salvador, a non-profit that raises funds for scholarships for deserving students in that Central American Country.
Sen. Ortiz y Pino was born in Santa Fe and is a lifelong New Mexican. He is married to Donna Bruzzese, a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in private practice for over 30 years. He is the father of three children, Miriam, David, and Carlos, step-father to four children, Mary Lynne, Laura, Michaela, and David and grandfather to 12 children living in Albuquerque, Durango, Colorado, Bloomington, Indiana and Nashville, Tennessee.
This is a 16-year summary of legislation I’ve sponsored. For a listing of the over 500 bills, memorials, constitutional amendments, and resolutions I’ve sponsored during that time, visit the legislative website www.mmlegis.gov , then select legislation from the menu. Select my name and insert the parameters: 2005 to 2020 special session. Multiple bills can have the same number as we start over each year.
As a guide to abbreviations used:
“PCH” means it passed and became law.
“PVET” means it was vetoed with a message.
“PKVT” means the Governor vetoed it without a message.
“API” means it died on adjournment before final action.
“DEAD” means, yes, it died.