HOUSE BILL 380
53rd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2017
RELATING TO RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES; ALLOWING MAIL-IN OR PROXY BALLOTS TO COUNT TOWARD ESTABLISHING A QUORUM.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 62-15-8 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1939, Chapter 47, Section 8, as amended) is amended to read:
A. No person who is not an incorporator shall become a member of a cooperative unless [he] the person agrees to use electric energy furnished by the cooperative when electric energy is available through its facilities. The bylaws of a cooperative may provide that any person, including an incorporator, shall cease to be a member of a cooperative if [he] the person fails or refuses to use electric energy made available by the cooperative or if the electric energy is not made available to that person by the cooperative within a specified time after [he] the person becomes a member of the cooperative. Membership in the cooperative shall not be transferable except as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may prescribe additional qualifications and limitations in respect of membership.
B. An annual meeting of the members shall be held at such time as shall be provided in the bylaws or, if not contrary to the bylaws, by the board of trustees.
C. Special meetings of the members may be called by the board of trustees, by any three trustees, by petition signed by not less than ten percent of the members or by the president.
D. Annual and special meetings of members, whether general or by voting districts established pursuant to the Rural Electric Cooperative Act, shall be held at such place as may be provided in the bylaws. In the absence of any such provision, all general meetings shall be held in the city or town in which the principal office of the cooperative is located, and all meetings by voting districts shall be held at a location set by the board of trustees within the boundaries of each district.
E. Except as otherwise provided in the Rural Electric Cooperative Act, written or printed notice stating the time and place of each meeting of members and, in the case of a special meeting, the purpose for which the meeting is called, shall be given to each member by the board of trustees or the secretary, or their legal representatives, either personally or by mail not less than ten or more than twenty-five days before the date of the meeting. Failure to receive notice deposited in the mail addressed to a member at the member's address shown on the cooperative's books and records shall not affect the validity of any business conducted at a meeting.
F. Five percent of all members present in person constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business at all meetings of the members, unless the bylaws prescribe [the presence of a greater or lesser] a different number of members for determining a quorum. The bylaws may allow for ballots submitted by mail or proxy to be considered in establishing a quorum for the sole purpose of voting on an issue or question, the language of which is stated exactly in the notices and on the ballots provided to all members. If less than a quorum is present at any meeting, [a] the majority of those present in person may adjourn the meeting from time to time without further notice. The failure to hold a meeting of members due to the absence of a quorum shall not affect the validity of any business conducted by the board of trustees.
G. Each member shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote at a meeting. Voting shall be in person; provided that if the bylaws provide for voting by proxy or by mail, the bylaws shall prescribe the conditions under which proxy or mail voting shall be exercised. No person shall vote as proxy for more than three members at any meeting of the members.
H. All actions required by the Rural Electric Cooperative Act to be adopted or approved by a simple majority or greater number of members voting on the action at an annual or special meeting may be acted upon by voting at a general meeting or, to the extent and in the manner that the board of trustees may authorize, by voting by the voting districts established pursuant to that act, so long as the requisite majority of members voting on the action is obtained regardless of whether such a majority is obtained in any particular voting district. Action by voting by the voting districts shall be valid if a quorum exists as a result of a series of voting district meetings regardless of whether a quorum is present in any particular voting district."
SECTION 2. Section 62-15-10 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1939, Chapter 47, Section 10, as amended) is amended to read:
"62-15-10. VOTING DISTRICTS.--
A. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Rural Electric Cooperative Act, the bylaws of a cooperative may provide that the territory in which a cooperative supplies electric energy to its members shall be divided into two or more voting districts and that, in respect of each such voting district:
(1) a designated number of trustees shall be elected by the members residing in that district;
(2) a designated number of delegates shall be elected by the members residing in that district; or
(3) both trustees and delegates shall be elected by the members residing in that district.
B. The bylaws shall prescribe the manner in which voting districts, and the members, delegates and trustees thereof, if any, elected therefrom, shall function. The bylaws shall also set forth the powers of the delegates, which may include the power to elect trustees. No delegate [at any meeting shall vote] who has voted by proxy or by mail on an issue or question shall vote in person on the same issue or question.
C. Voting by members at voting district meetings shall be in person, unless otherwise provided in the bylaws. The bylaws shall prescribe the conditions under which voting by mail shall be exercised."
SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2017.
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