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Legislature Passes Bill Allowing More Stability for Electric and Telephone Cooperatives

Senate Bill 14 increases flexibility while creating continuity and saving money

JUNEAU-A bill aimed at giving more flexibility and stability to Alaskan electric and telephone cooperatives is now headed to Governor Sean Parnell’s desk.   Senate Bill 14, sponsored by Senator Fred Dyson, R-Eagle River, increases term limits for directors on the boards of telephone and electric cooperatives from three years to four years.

“In these highly technical industries, there can be a steep learning curve for new directors,” said Senator Dyson.  “By letting a person serve for one additional year, the cooperative can benefit from the effectiveness and efficiency of that person for a slightly longer period of time, which increases stability and continuity throughout the industry.” 

Because the terms would be longer, under Senate Bill 14, some cooperatives would have the choice of holding elections once every two years instead of annually. 

“This potentially saves time and money for the cooperatives, which in turn, helps every Alaskan that belongs to them,” said Senator Fred Dyson.  “We have spent years looking for ways to reduce the high energy costs currently hurting Alaskans.  Although this is a small change, every penny does help.”

The change in term length will not be mandatory for cooperatives that prefer to maintain three year terms for directors.

“These changes merely allow a cooperative to determine what is best for its organization and members,” said Senator Dyson.  “It makes sense that a cooperative’s members should be allowed to determine the specifics that work for them.”

Senate Bill 14 was the first Senate bill passed by the entire Legislature and the third bill passed by both the Senate and the House during the 28th Legislature.

Senate Bill 14 is now headed to Governor Parnell for his signature.

For more information, please contact Chuck Kopp in Senator Dyson’s office at 907-465-2199.

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