Legislature(2003 - 2004)

03/11/2003 01:32 PM L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
              HB 58-REINSTATEMENT OF NATIVE CORPS                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE announced HB 58 to be up for consideration.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR. LARRY LABOLLE, staff to  Representative Foster, sponsor of HB                                                               
58, said that HB 58 deals  with a perennial problem, which is the                                                               
involuntary dissolutionment of  Native village corporations. Some                                                               
corporations  have received  certified  letters  that said  their                                                               
incorporation  expired;  they  then received  letters  that  said                                                               
their  grace  period  is lapsing.  Then  they  are  involuntarily                                                               
dissolved  and are  no longer  corporations.  Savoonga, a  remote                                                               
village  without   legal  counsel,   brought  the   situation  to                                                               
Representative  Foster's   attention.  These   corporations  have                                                               
shareholders and assets; returning the assets creates a problem.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
In the past, the Department  of Commerce and Economic Development                                                               
(DCED) opened  a window of  opportunity to give a  corporation 60                                                               
or  90  days  to  apply  and  be  reinstated  as  a  corporation.                                                               
Currently, three corporations  have been involuntarily dissolved.                                                               
He said  this is the fourth  time this bill has  gone through the                                                               
legislature in 15 years.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  if an  expense is  involved in  going through                                                               
this process.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LABOLLE replied there is an  expense and penalties have to be                                                               
paid as well. The department assured  him that if the fiscal note                                                               
wasn't zero, it would be a  positive, but so slight that it would                                                               
be inconsequential.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE said  he hoped that next time  around, there wouldn't                                                               
even be  three, because they'll  realize it's costing  them money                                                               
to do this.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. LABOLLE  replied that  is probably the  case. The  first time                                                               
this happened all  of the villages weren't remote,  but this time                                                               
they are very remote.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TAPE 03-10, SIDE B                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                              
SENATOR FRENCH  asked how  often Native  corporations need  to be                                                               
reauthorized.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. LABOLLE replied every three or five years.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH commented that's probably  why the villages are in                                                               
trouble.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. ALICE  HOUSTON, Corporation Supervisor, DCED,  clarified that                                                               
corporations of  any type  have to  file bi-annual  reports every                                                               
other year. After  two years, post offices don't  forward mail so                                                               
if the department hasn't been  notified of an address change, the                                                               
corporations don't get the notice.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  FRENCH recapped  that every  two years  the corporations                                                               
have  to  renew their  authorization;  most  remember and  a  few                                                               
don't.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOUSTON agreed  and  added that  most  remember; others  are                                                               
reminded with  notices by certified  mail. After  the dissolution                                                               
takes place, they have two years  to reinstate before they get to                                                               
this point.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR FRENCH asked how many Native corporations exist.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOUSTON replied that there are 119 ANGSA corporations.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE asked  if she  could answer  his question  about the                                                               
cost to the corporation.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOUSTON replied  that a  for-profit corporation's  bi-annual                                                               
fee is  $100; the late penalty  is $37.50. Once a  corporation is                                                               
dissolved, the fee is double or $275 for each two-year period.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE  asked why  they  must  reauthorize bi-annually  and                                                               
whether  it  would make  more  sense  to reauthorize  every  five                                                               
years.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOUSTON  replied that  she didn't know  the history,  but she                                                               
thought  she would  have more  trouble getting  notices to  folks                                                               
every five  years. She pointed  out the bi-annual  requirement is                                                               
in statute.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE asked why paperwork needs to be generated over this.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS responded  that he thought a  lot of corporations                                                               
just  voluntarily dissolve.  It  takes no  affirmative action  on                                                               
DCED's part  and it has  a chance, on  a regular basis,  to clean                                                               
out the corporations that didn't renew.                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOUSTON agreed and said  requiring the information every five                                                               
years would make it outdated.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  BUNDE  asked  if  the  information  equaled  the  cost  of                                                               
generating that paper work.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MS. HOUSTON said she would research that for him.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  STEVENS asked  if it  is true  that the  communities are                                                               
very remote or unsophisticated.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOUSTON replied  that  most of  the  corporations were  very                                                               
small and were dissolved in 2000 or earlier.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR SEEKINS  asked when  a corporation  voluntarily dissolves                                                               
and  then  applies  for  reinstatement, if  there  is  any  other                                                               
examination  to see  whether it  has  acted as  a corporation  to                                                               
issue the certificate.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS.  HOUSTON  replied that  DCED  is  just  a filing  agency  and                                                               
doesn't do any investigation.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE  said they would bring  the bill up again  after some                                                               
work and adjourned the meeting at 2:25 p.m.                                                                                     

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