Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Panel OKs Deregulation-Delay Bill.

Byline: David Miles Journal Capitol Bureau

SANTA FE A bill to delay electricity deregulation in New Mexico for five years cleared its first hurdle Friday with approval from the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.

The 5-3 vote sent the bill to the Senate Finance Committee. Sen. Michael Sanchez, who sponsored 1999 legislation to allow deregulation, also sponsored the bill to delay it.

Sanchez, a Belen Democrat, contended that the 1999 measure is a good law but said he is concerned about an energy crisis that followed deregulation in California.

"I don't want it to hurt anybody," Sanchez said of the law. "The best thing to do for the state of New Mexico is to delay this. …

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