Director of Communications & Member Services
Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arizona Rural Electric Cooperatives Applaud the Passage of SB1412
Capital Credits to Remain in Rural Communities as Funds to Benefit Members
Tempe, Ariz. (April 20, 2018) – Governor Ducey recently signed a bill protecting a critical funding source for scholarship, education and community programs in areas served by Arizona’s rural electric cooperatives. SB1412 allows cooperatives to continue to use capital credit returns that remain unclaimed after a period of two years for programs benefitting the communities they serve. These programs include youth scholarships, educational opportunities, utility bill assistance and support for other charitable programs.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Gail Griffin, and 65 other co-sponsors who signed onto the bill to support its passage. The legislation was unopposed and cleared both the Arizona House and Senate unanimously before receiving the governor’s signature March 23. This legislation was the second attempt by Senator Griffin to pass similar legislation, which fell just short of passage on the last day of legislative session in the prior year.
“I was happy to sponsor and glad to see this bill finally receive the support it deserved. These funds are critical in supporting the needs of our rural communities, and we want to see the cooperatives’ money stay in their local communities, where it will do the most good,” said Senator Griffin.
Cooperatives applaud the passage of this legislation as it clarifies that these cooperative resources can remain in the communities where they were collected and benefit the member-owners of the cooperatives.
“Unclaimed capital credits help finance many important community programs designed for our members. We were deeply concerned because those dollars were in jeopardy, but are relieved that they will be able to remain local and can continue to assist our communities to which they belong,” said Jeff Larson, President of the Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association Board of Directors.
Cooperative members will still be able to claim their credits after the two-year period. The electric cooperatives are developing databases of members with outstanding capital credits and will be providing that information on their websites so it will be available for members to access.
The legislation will go into effect sometime this fall on the general effective date, which will be set for 90 days after the conclusion of the legislative session.
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