PRC Qualifications Amendment Okayed by Voters

Nov 7, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico voters have approved one of the proposed constitutional amendments aimed at revamping the Public Regulation Commission, one of the state's most powerful, highest paid and most scandal-plagued bodies.

The amendment allows the state Legislature to establish minimum qualifications for PRC candidates.

Currently, a candidate needs only to be 18, a New Mexico resident for at least one year and have no felony convictions.

Two other proposed amendments that target PRC duties have yet to be decided.

Critics had argued that increasing the qualifications would narrow the pool of candidates. However, supporters say the proposals will make the commission more efficient and ensure that elected regulators are better prepared for the complex utility and telecommunications issues they must decide.

The five-member panel currently regulates utilities, insurance companies, transportation companies and transmission and pipeline companies.