New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner Qualifications Amendment, Constitutional Amendment 2 (2012)

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Constitutional Amendment 2
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:New Mexico Constitution
Referred by:New Mexico State Legislature
Topic:State executives
Status:Approveda
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner Qualifications Amendment, also known as Constitutional Amendment 2, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the state of New Mexico, where it was approved.

The measure raised the qualifications required to be public regulation commissioner. Reports stated that supporters were unsatisfied with the qualifications required to become a commissioner. According to reports, the measure was proposed during 2012 state legislative session, and was sent to the ballot after legislature voted to do so before the end of session on February 2012.[1]

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results

The following are official election results:

New Mexico Constitutional Amendment 2 (2012)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 537,195 80.91%
No126,77619.09%

Results via New Mexico Secretary of State.

Text of measure

Ballot language

The language that voters saw on the ballot read as follows:[2]

A Joint Resolution Proposing An Amendment To Article 11, Section 1 Of The Constitution Of New Mexico To Increase The Qualifications For Public Regulation Commissioners.

For ____________

Against ____________[3]

Support

The following are arguments that were made in support of the measure. The information below was obtained from the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos:[4]

  • "The New Mexico PRC has a broader jurisdiction than any other regulatory agency in the country and makes decisions that impact the daily lives of all of New Mexico’s citizens, ranging from setting utility rates to regulating motor carrier safety and prices. Increasing the qualifications for commissioners would help make sure that they have a basic understanding of the complex industries they regulate."
  • "Because PRC commissioners are expected to act much like judges, making their decisions by applying the relevant law to the evidence on the record, it is critical that commissioners understand the law and the specifics of the subject areas they regulate. Too often, and at too high a cost, the New Mexico Supreme Court has overruled PRC decisions because commissioners have not understood the law."
  • "Many other states already require their utility commissioners to have educational or professional experience in a field relevant to utility regulation, such as accounting, fi nance, engineering, public or business administration, administrative law, or economics."

Opposition

The following are arguments that were made in support of the measure. The information below was obtained from the League of Women Voters of Los Alamos:[4]

  • "The amendment leaves it up to the Legislature to establish the specific qualifications for PRC commissioners, meaning that voters would not know exactly what those qualifications

would be before they vote on the amendment."

  • "Depending on what qualifications are enacted into law, some citizens may not be qualified to run for the office of PRC commissioner, even though they would be qualified to run for other elected positions in state and local government."
  • "It is unclear whether the Legislature is actually committed to enacting serious, substantive qualifications that are rigorous enough to ensure."

Path to the ballot

According to Article XIX of the New Mexico Constitution, it takes a majority vote of all members of both houses of the New Mexico State Legislature to refer a proposed amendment to the ballot.

See also

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References