Legislature(2003 - 2004)
03/11/2003 01:32 PM L&C
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= 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.