ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State Insurance Superintendent John Franchini was selected Wednesday to remain as New Mexico's top insurance regulator when his office becomes an independent governmental agency next month.

A nine-member committee named Franchini to serve as insurance superintendent for a term that starts July 1 and expires Dec. 31, 2015.

Franchini has managed the state Insurance Division in the Public Regulation Commission since August 2010. However, voters approved a constitutional amendment last year to remove oversight of the insurance industry from the five-member elected PRC, which in the past selected the insurance superintendent.

The newly independent office will regulate insurance rates and policies.

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