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House Committee Changes Commissions Bill

House lawmakers have substantially rewritten a controversial bill that would revamp and eliminate many state commissions. The Senate's version of S-B 10 would have cleared out the membership of the Utilities, Industrial, Coastal Resources and Wildlife Resources Commissions, among others. And it would have eliminated 12 special Superior Court judge positions. But on Wednesday, a House Committee made some big changes to its version of the bill. The House's version would keep the Superior Court judges in place, and it would restore some of the scientific expertise currently required of members of the Coastal Resources Commission. Republican representative Tom Murry chairs the House Commerce Committee.

"We don't want to lose institutional knowledge, but we also don't want to create conflicts of interest by replacing that institutional knowledge so those are the two main areas that you'll see as a different approach in the House version that was just passed by the Commerce committee," said Murry.

The bill's prime sponsor, Senator Tom Apodaca, was angry about the changes to the measure and declined an invitation to speak to the committee.

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