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Voters could convert PRC to appointed body

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By Steve Terrell
The New Mexican

Next year could be the last time New Mexicans find any candidates for the long-troubled Public Regulation Commission listed on election ballots if voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment that sailed through the Legislature with bipartisan support.

On Thursday the House passed Senate Joint Resolution 1, which would turn the Public Regulation Commission -- which currently consists of five elected members representing different geographical districts -- into a three member body whose members would be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate.

The measure, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, Senate Republican Whip Bill Payne of Albuquerque and Sen. Steve Neville, R-Aztec, passed the House by a vote of 59-8. It previously cleared the Senate by a 36-5 vote.

Because it's a proposed constitutional amendment, SJR 1 does not need the governor's signature. It will be placed on the state's general election ballot in November 2020. If it passes, the governor would begin appointing new commissioners in January 2023.


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