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Rethink the PRC


Reform the PRC

Issue Summary

In 2013, the legislature passed and the governor signed House Bills 45 and 46 and Senate Bill 8, fully implementing the constitutional amendments that were approved by voters in the 2012 general election to professionalize and streamline New Mexico's troubled Public Regulation Commission (PRC). In addition, in 2013 the legislature also passed House Bill 194, which promotes job creation and small business formation by modernizing the PRC's regulation of taxis, shuttles, and moving companies. The bills and constitutional amendments were drafted in large part by Think New Mexico.

Think New Mexico's initiative to reform the PRC began in 2011, when we published a report proposing a strategy for addressing the PRC's fundamental problem: it combined too much power (a broader jurisdiction than any state utility regulatory agency in the nation) with too few qualifications for commissioners (who were only required to be at least 18 years old, residents of New Mexico for at least a year, and not convicted felons).

The report noted that the PRC touches the lives of every New Mexican who pays a gas, electric, or water bill, or buys home, auto, or health insurance, yet it has been in an almost constant state of turmoil since it was created in the late 1990s as a merger of the former State Corporation Commission and Public Utility Commission.

During the 2012 legislative session, Think New Mexico successfully won legislative passage of three bipartisan constitutional amendments to reform the PRC: Constitutional Amendment 2, which authorized the legislature to increase the qualifications of PRC commissioners; Constitutional Amendment 3, which transferred the PRC's corporate registration division to a one-stop shop for business filings at the Secretary of State's office; and Constitutional Amendment 4, which transferred the PRC's authority over insurance to a Superintendent of Insurance appointed by an independent committee.

On November 6, 2012, New Mexico voters approved all three amendments to streamline and professionalize the PRC. Constitutional Amendment 2, which increases the qualifications of PRC commissioners, received over 542,000 votes in favor—more votes than any constitutional amendment has ever received in the history of the state.

During the 2013 legislative session, Think New Mexico successfully championed legislation to fully implement the reforms proposed by these constitutional amendments. House Bill 45 transferred insurance regulation to a Superintendent of Insurance who is appointed by an independent, bipartisan nominating committee that balances the interests of insurance businesses and consumers and insulates insurance regulation from political interference. House Bill 46 created an efficient, one-stop shop for business registrations and filings at the Secretary of State's office. Senate Bill 8 required PRC commissioners to have at least ten years of professional experience in a subject area that the PRC regulates, or alternatively a combined ten years of professional experience and higher education resulting in a bachelor's degree in a relevant field. The bill also requires commissioners to earn at least 32 hours a year of relevant continuing education and at least two hours a year of ethics training.

In addition, during the 2013 session Think New Mexico successfully championed the passage of House Bill 194, which modernizes the PRC's regulation of moving companies, taxis, shuttles, and limos, and promotes job creation, small business formation, and lower prices for consumers.

Together, these constitutional amendments and bills fundamentally reform the PRC by increasing the qualifications of commissioners and refocusing the agency on its core duties of regulating utilities, telecommunications, and transportation.

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Get Involved

Contact your Legislators Think New Mexico's legislative successes are due in large part to the grassroots advocacy of our supporters. During the 2010 legislative session, Think New Mexico supporters sent over 15,000 messages to their legislators and the governor urging them not to reimpose a regressive food tax, and as a result, the governor line-item vetoed it and kept food tax-free for New Mexico families. If you would like to assist Think New Mexico in our efforts to reform the PRC, please call or write state policymakers and urge them to support legislation reducing the PRC's jurisdiction and enhancing commissioner qualifications. Ask your legislators and the governor to support these reforms.



Contact your Local Media Vocal public support of policy reforms like reforming the PRC is crucial to making them a reality. Legislators and the governor are attentive and responsive to letters to the editors from their constituents. We encourage you to express your support for reforming the PRC through the media, as well as directly to your representatives. The Media section of Think New Mexico's Action Center provides the names and contact information for your local media, including newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, and you can compose and send any of them an email or letter right from the page.



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Resources & Media


Rethinking the PRC Policy Report Read Think New Mexico's policy report on rethinking and reforming New Mexico's PRC (full bibliography available online)


Newspaper Articles & Editorials

Read an Albuquerque Journal article and editorial about how consolidating the PRC's corporate reporting unit with the business services division of the Secretary of State's Office has reduced wait times and saved taxpayer dollars • December 2013


Read an Albuquerque Journal editorial about the need for House Bill 194, to modernize the PRC's regulation of taxis, shuttles, and moving companies • January 30, 2013


Read an Albuquerque Journal article about House Bill 194, which modernizes the PRC's regulation of taxis, shuttles, and moving companies • February 9, 2013


Read an Albuquerque Journal article about House Bills 45, 46, and 47, introduced to implement Think New Mexico's PRC reform constitutional amendments • January 17, 2013


Read Think New Mexico's opinion editoral on the benefits of Constitutional Amendments 2, 3 and 4, which has been published in the Albuquerque Journal, the Aztec Talon, the Cibola County Beacon, the Deming Headlight, the Farmington Daily Times, the Las Cruces Bulletin, the Las Cruces Sun-News, the Los Alamos Daily Post, the Los Alamos Daily Monitor, the Raton Range, the Rio Grande Sun, the Rio Rancho Observer, the Roswell Daily Record, the Ruidoso Free Press, the Santa Fe Monthly, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Sierra County Sentinel, the Silver City Sun-News, Socorro's El Defensor Chieftain, the Union County Leader, and the Valencia County News-BeaconOctober 2012


Read editorials by the Albuquerque Journal, the Las Cruces Sun News, the Las Vegas Daily Optic, the Rio Grande Sun, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Santa Fe Reporter, the Taos News, and the Weekly Alibi endorsing Constitutional Amendments 2, 3 and 4 • October 2012


Read an Albuquerque Journal article about the need for Constitutional Amendment 4, removing insurance regulation from the PRC • October 12, 2012


Read Sherry Robinson's syndicated column explaining why she supports Constitutional Amendments 2, 3 and 4 • October 23, 2012


Read Ned Cantwell's syndicated column in support of Constitutional Amendments 2, 3 and 4 • October 12, 2012


Read Wally Gordon's column in the Edgewood Independent about the need for Constitutional Amendments 2, 3 and 4 • October 31, 2012


Read Santa Fe Reporter article on Constitutional Amendments 2, 3 and 4 • October 18, 2012


Read Albuquerque Journal and Santa Fe New Mexican editorials calling on the New Mexico Senate to approve Think New Mexico's PRC reform legislation • February 9-10, 2012


Read Farmington Daily Times article on the legislative passage of Think New Mexico's PRC reform package • February 16, 2012


Read Albuquerque Journal editorial praising Think New Mexico's legislation to reform the PRC • February 2, 2012


Read Associated Press article about Think New Mexico's legislation to reform the PRC receiving unanimous support in all of its House committee hearings • January 31, 2012


Read Rio Grande Sun editorial in support of Think New Mexico's legislative package to reform the PRC • January 26, 2012


Read Albuquerque Journal article describing Think New Mexico's legislative package to reform the PRC • January 26, 2012


Read Las Cruces Sun-News editorial supporting Think New Mexico's new initiative to rethink the PRC • October 16, 2011
This editorial was also published in: the Carlsbad Current-Argus, the Farmington Daily Times, the Ruidoso News, and the Silver City Sun-News.


Read Albuquerque Journal editorial in support of Think New Mexico's new initiative to rethink the PRC • October 5, 2011


Read Santa Fe New Mexican editorials supporting Think New Mexico's initiative to rethink the PRC • January 22, 2012October 12, 2011October 2, 2011


Read Associated Press article about Think New Mexico's new initiative to rethink the PRC • October 5, 2011


Read Santa Fe New Mexican article about Think New Mexico's new initiative to rethink the PRC • October 2, 2011


Read Alamogordo Daily News article on Think New Mexico's proposal for rethinking the PRC • October 1, 2011


Radio and Television

Watch an interview with former PRC Commissioner Doug Howe on how Think New Mexico professionalized and streamlined the powerful PRC • May 23, 2013 (1:48)


Listen to a KSVP Artesia AM 990 interview with Fred Nathan about House Bills 45, 46, and 47 to implement Think New Mexico's PRC reform constitutional amendments • January 19, 2013 (13:31)


Listen to a KUNM 89.9 news interview with the editor of the Santa Fe Reporter about why the Reporter endorsed Constitutional Amendments 2, 3, and 4 • October 31, 2012 (5:24)


Listen to a KBAC 98.1 Radio Free Santa Fe interview with Fred Nathan and Kristina Fisher about Think New Mexico's three constitutional amendments to reform the PRC • October 24, 2012 (9:22)


Listen to a KSVP Artesia AM 990 interview with Fred Nathan about Think New Mexico's three constitutional amendments to reform the PRC • October 17, 2012 (14:32)


Listen to a KSVP Artesia AM 990 interview with Fred Nathan about Think New Mexico's PRC reform efforts• July 28, 2012 (15:32)


Watch an interview with Fred Nathan on KRWG's Newsmakers program about Think New Mexico's three constitutional amendments to reform the PRC • September 2012 (17:19)


Watch an interview with Fred Nathan on KOB-TV's Eye on New Mexico program about Think New Mexico's PRC reform initiative • November 27, 2011 (27:23)


Watch KRQE News 13 follow-up report on Think New Mexico's PRC reform initiative • October 4, 2011 (2:32)


Watch KRQE News 13 report on Think New Mexico's initiative to rethink the PRC • October 2, 2011 (2:20)


Listen to KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio story on Think New Mexico's initiative to rethink the PRC • October 10, 2011 (mp3, 6:00)


Listen to KSVP Artesia AM 990 interview with Fred Nathan about Think New Mexico's initiative to rethink the PRC • October 2011 (mp3, 16:20)


Listen to an episode of the Morning Show with Harvey T on KEDU Radio in Ruidoso featuring an interview with Fred Nathan on Think New Mexico's initiative to rethink the PRC • October 11, 2011 (mp3, 31:11)


Listen to Santa Fe Stories podcast featuring an interview with Fred Nathan about Think New Mexico's initiative to rethink the PRC • October 8, 2011 (mp3, 28:25)


Blogs, Online Media, and Other

Read an excerpt of Think New Mexico's policy report on Heath Haussamen's nmpolitics.netOctober 14, 2011