The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) touches the lives of every New Mexican who pays a gas, electric, or landline telephone bill, or buys home, auto, or health insurance, among many other things. Unfortunately, the PRC has had a troubled history ever since it was created about 16 years ago.
In late 2011, Think New Mexico published a policy report entitled “Rethinking the PRC,” which proposed a strategy for reforming the agency. Our report concluded that the PRC’s poor performance was due, in part, to a fundamental structural problem: it was the most powerful state regulatory agency in the nation, yet it had very few qualifications for commissioners (they are only required to be at least 18 years old, residents of New Mexico for at least a year, and not convicted felons).
During the 2012 legislative session, with the help of good government, consumer, and business groups, Think New Mexico successfully won legislative passage of three bipartisan constitutional amendments to restructure the PRC.