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Voters approve bonds

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By Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico voters on Tuesday approved more than $140 million in bonds to support libraries, higher education and senior centers, and they approved at least one constitutional amendment aimed at revamping the powerful, scandal-plagued Public Regulation Commission.
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 would streamline the duties of the regulatory agency had yet to be decided but were leading as ballots continued to be counted.
Critics had argued that increasing the qualifications would narrow the pool of PRC candidates. However, supporters contend the changes 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 regulates utilities, insurance companies, transportation companies, and transmission and pipeline companies.


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