U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development's State Cooperative Statute Library, which is temporarily housed online by NCBA CLUSA.
The addition of Virginia brings the co-op statute state count to 13, with 23 expected by the end of the year, said Meegan Moriarty at an October preview of the State Cooperative Statute Library. USDA Rural Development is expected to formally launch a dedicated website for the library in January 2017, she said.
The new document compares statutes governing fiduciary issues, patronage, capitalization, mergers and consolidations, dissolution and other state laws state-by-state, along with contact info for each of the researchers, and is particularly valuable for practitioners.
“Practitioners like the spreadsheet because it helps them zero in on specific co-op issues,” Moriarty said.
A comprehensive, state-by-state review of co-op law, the State Cooperative Statute Library is expected to address the challenge of inconsistent legislative framework for cooperative development in the U.S. Currently, co-op statutes differ greatly from state to state. Nationwide, both incorporation legislation and enabling legislation are needed to create a legal environment conducive to cooperative growth.
NCBA CLUSA has long advocated for a 50-state approach to cooperative law. The growing database is a critical step forward to identifying core pieces of good co-op law that can be adopted by other states, resulting in clearer and more consistent statutes nationwide.