MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
GREETINGS! This is my Ninth Report to you as MPA Members. First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. It
took 11 days in February for an AOPA-led industry lobbying effort to convince the Bush Administration to restore
critical cuts in the FAA's 2002 Budget.
Restoration will allow badly needed upgrades in ATC, Airport Improvements, and relief from Air Traffic congestion and delays, as directed by Congress last year with passage of the Aviation Investment and Reform Act (AIR-21).
In early February, AOPA discovered that the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) planned to renege on the funding levels promised by AIR-21, which "unlocked" the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. The bill authorized some $40 billion for the FAA over three years, including a 64-percent increase in airport funding and 35-percent increase in funds for ATC Modernization.
After learning of the OMB's budget-cutting plan, AOPA President Phil Boyer fired off a letter to President Bush, urging him to honor the agreement. That letter was the first volley in a furious industry lobbying effort on behalf of the FAA, including a personal appeal from Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta for the AIR-21 funding levels.
Just days before OMB's preliminary decision, U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, sent a letter to the President requesting that he fully fund the $53 billion in highway and aviation projects previously approved by Congress.
Over the weekend of February 10 and 11, OMB officials apparently had a change of heart, agreeing to restore the FAA's budget request to the level mandated by Congress. "As a nation, we must place a high priority on solving the congestion and delay problems plaguing the air transportation system," said Boyer. "Congress rightly recognized through AIR-21 that the first step is to provide adequate resources to modernize the air traffic control system and increase airport capacity. We know President Bush shares this vision, and we're pleased that his administration has signaled its willingness to work with Congress and the Aviation Industry to move our system into the twenty-first century."
Second, Now here's a Legislation Update on the State Level. I would like to continue my discussion on "The Legislative Process in Missouri". Let's start with, "Time of Meeting". The General Assembly convenes at the State Capital in Jefferson City annually on the first Wednesday after the first Monday of January. It adjourns on May 30, with no consideration of bills after 6:00 p.m. on the first Friday following the second Monday in May.
No appropriation bill may be considered after 6:00 p.m. on the first Friday after the first Monday in May. If the Governor returns a bill with his objections after adjournment sine die, the General Assembly is automatically reconvened on the first Wednesday following the second Monday in September for a period not to exceed ten days to consider vetoed bills.
The Governor may convene the General Assembly in special session for a maximum of 60 calendar days at any time. Only subjects recommended by the Governor in his call or a special message may be considered. The President Pro Tem and the Speaker may convene a 30-day special session upon petition of three-fourths of the members of each chamber.
Currently there are 9 House Bills, and 3 Senate Bills listed by indexed and subject. Here is a link to view the Missouri House of Representatives Bills Indexed by Subject AIRCRAFT AND AIRPORTS. Click to go there.
Here's an update on HB 436 Missouri Airport Protection Act. The Speaker of the House, Rep. Jim Kreider is ready to put HB 436 on the House Agenda Schedule for a full House Vote. More information to follow soon.
Now, concerning SB 324, no word yet on the status, Senator Doyle Childers was trying to work out a compromise with the Telecommunications Leaders. More information to follow soon.
Now, in Conclusion, Remember we are making a Difference in Missouri concerning our Aircraft and Airports.
More updated information soon!
Until Next Time!
Larry G. Harmon
E-mail address: MPALHARMON@aol.com
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