Monday, July 23, 2007

New state law aims to make Ohio more business friendly

Cincinnati Business Courier - July 19, 2007
Gov. Ted Strickland signed a law Thursday designed to make Ohio a more competitive place for public companies and encourage all businesses to reside in the state.
The law, known as House Bill 134, will become effective Jan. 1, 2008, and give corporations the opportunity to use majority voting instead of plurality voting for its board of directors.
Under majority voting, directors can be elected by affirmative votes from a majority of shares eligible to be voted at a meeting.
Plurality gives voters two voting choices, "for" or "withheld" and only "for" votes are counted. This outcome allows someone to be elected on only one "for" vote.
"This bill builds on the successes of our prior corporate modernization legislation from last year, and helps Ohio-incorporated entities remain here by giving shareholders the voting rights they are increasingly demanding," said Ohio House Majority Whip Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, in a press release.
Other states that already allow majority voting include California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois and Michigan.
State Sen. David Goodman, R-Columbus, chair of the Senate Judiciary and Civil Justice Committee and one of the bill's cosponsors, said many Ohio-based companies had received shareholder proposals demanding re-location outside of the state for lack of majority voting.

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