One PRC bill gets through the Roundhouse, two to go as the clock ticks away

By Rob Nikolewski on February 16, 2012

One bill calling for voters to amend the New Mexico Constitution to reform the troubled Public Regulation Commission (PRC) made it through the legislature Wednesday night (Feb. 15) and with a half day left in the current 30-day session, two more are waiting to be heard. On a 40-0 vote on the floor of the [...]

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Starting now, GSD will ask PRC to report when staff, commissioners borrow cars

By David Collins on February 1, 2012

In response to a Watchdog inquiry, a GSD spokesperson said today that agency will include the PRC in its annual campaigns to collect information about authorized personal use of state vehicles for commuting. Until this morning, the GSD spokesperson had maintained the PRC’s participation in the annual domicile-to-duty reporting program was “voluntary.”

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Bill setting standards to serve on the PRC clears another hurdle UPDATE: Two more PRC reform bills go to House floor

By Rob Nikolewski on January 30, 2012

Going into the House Judiciary Committee meeting hearing on increasing standards for those who serve as commissioners on the Public Regulation Committee, we knew you didn’t need a college degree to serve on the PRC. What we didn’t know was that you don’t even have to have a high school diploma. Or have finished middle [...]

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What the House redistricting decision means — buckle up! Nick Salazar contemplates stepping down after 40 years in Roundhouse

By Rob Nikolewski on January 4, 2012

Buckle up for a bumpy and raucous political year, New Mexico. The state House of Representatives is already a closely-run race as Democrats have seen their majority slip to just 36 Dems, 33 Republicans and 1 Independent. But now that a redistricting judge ruled Tuesday (Jan. 3) in favor of a plan put forth by [...]

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Redistricting judge picks Susana’s plan over the Dems’ UPDATE: Who’s going to face off with whom in consolidated district races

By Rob Nikolewski on January 3, 2012

Republicans and Gov. Susana Martinez picked up a big win Tuesday evening as a judge in charge of redistricting New Mexico’s political boundaries sided with the governor’s attorneys in choosing a map for the state’s House of Representatives for the next 10 years. Judge Jim Hall picked a plan drawn up by the governor’s legal [...]

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Auditor: PRC’s internal post-Block review inadequate

By David Collins on December 29, 2011

Although former commissioner Jerome Block faces sentencing Jan. 27 for – among other offenses – fraudulent use of a state fuel card, anyone else who might’ve used a Public Regulation Commission fuel credit card for personal purchases could tentatively count whatever they bought among this year’s gifts. Or loot.

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Audit: PRC Fringe Benefits Not Reported to IRS

By David Collins on December 22, 2011

Lax oversight of state vehicle usage could be letting state employees who commute in state vehicles avoid income taxes on what the IRS classifies as fringe benefit income, according to state auditor Hector Balderas.

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Jerome Block Jr. arrested yet again UPDATE: Kicked out of drug program

By Rob Nikolewski on December 13, 2011

For the third time in two months, Jerome Block Jr. has been arrested. From Geoff Grammer of the Santa Fe New Mexican, who reports that the former member of the Public Regulation Commission has been booked into Santa Fe County jail: Jail records show he was booked in Tuesday at 3:12 p.m. It is unclear [...]

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Redistricting fight turns to the state’s House of Representatives

By Rob Nikolewski on December 12, 2011

Now comes the hand-to-hand combat. After hearing arguments last week about redistricting for US congressional seats for New Mexico, Judge Jim Hall started hearings on Monday (Dec. 12) over what figures to be the most contentious fight over how and where to draw the state’s political lines — the battle over the boundaries for future [...]

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Let the lawyering begin! Redistricting hearings start

By Rob Nikolewski on December 5, 2011

Republicans, Democrats, a group representing Hispanics and another representing Native Americans began pleading their respective cases to a retired district court judge in Santa Fe on Monday (Dec. 5) as the first of a series of hearings over the battle for drawing the redistricted political boundaries for New Mexico began. Judge Jim Hall is the [...]

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