Alaska State Representative Lance Pruitt (Anchorage) has introduced House Bill 149 (HB 149) at the request of Doyon, Limited. HB 149 would amend the articles of incorporation for Native corporations to establish a lower quorum requirement for shareholder meetings.
“Sealaska has comfortably met quorum and will not seek an amendment to articles of incorporation,” said Sealaska chair Joe Nelson. “Sealaska is not asking for this at this time and will not put in front of Sealaska shareholders. We support our sister corporations, but the board and management will continue to watch progress on the proposed state legislation.
Currently, state law requires 50-percent plus one to meet quorum standards to conduct a meeting. Under HB 149, Native Corporations have the option to amend articles of incorporation to lower quorum requirements. Corporations may amend its articles to reduce the quorum necessary to hold a meeting of shareholders to one-third of the outstanding shares entitled to vote at a meeting.
The ANCSA Regional Association, consisting of the 12 regional corporations CEO’s, supports the bill, as it provides an option, but leaves the question of a quorum change to each individual corporation’s shareholders.
“Sealaska signed the ANCSA CEO’s letter after we heard from other ANCSA corporations that they struggle with low voter turnout and are threatened with not meeting quorum, said Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott. “Shareholders would have to approve any amendments to articles of incorporation under this bill and it would be up to the ANCSA board and management to inform the shareholders of the need for the change.”
Excerpt from ANCSA Regional Association Letter of Support
If an Alaska Native corporation fails to reach quorum, business at an annual meeting cannot be conducted, and directors cannot be elected (current directors continue until a valid annual meeting can be held and board elections can be conducted). The failure to meet the quorum for an annual meeting would be very costly and unproductive.
Additional resources on HB 149