Gov. Henry McMaster signs electric co-op reform bill

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has signed into law a proposal that bans board members of electric cooperatives from hiring family members.

The bill signed Friday also prohibits boards of the state’s 20 co-ops from filling vacancies on their boards themselves and requires them to post notice of meetings 10 days in advance and report what happened during the meetings for customers to review.

The law was spurred by problems with Tri-County Electric Cooperative, south of Columbia.

The State newspaper reported last year the co-op held a number of unnecessary meetings to collect $450 payments and pressured employees into doing personal work.

The newspaper also reported board members gave themselves health insurance and retirement benefits without letting their 13,600 customers know.

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