Earlier this year, the South Carolina General Assembly passed governance reform legislation affecting the state’s electric cooperatives. The bill, known as Act 56, requires cooperatives to consider multiple bylaw and policy changes, as well as potentially new voting practices.
New provisions to be adopted
Act 56 requires cooperatives to formally adopt revisions to the existing bylaws. The majority of these revisions have no material effect on Berkeley Electric given that the cooperative already operates in a similar matter.
New Bylaw Proposal
The legislation also requires Berkeley Electric Cooperative members to act on new provisions as set forth below. The following proposal must be voted on by the membership at the upcoming Annual Meeting of Members on November 23, 2019.
The new law requires Cooperatives to submit the question of single member districts to the members.
Summary: Under the present statute in the bylaws, a member votes every year for all candidates. Under the new proposal, a member would vote only once every three years and would only be able to vote amongst candidates for the district in which they reside. This proposal would greatly limit a members control over the election of Trustees.