MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. The Bush Administration's proposed $14 Billion
fiscal year 2003 budget for the FAA is good news for General Aviation. But an AOPA analysis of the document warns
of storm clouds in the future.
As submitted, the budget would fully fund airport improvements, spending money collected in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund on aviation. That provision has been a longtime AOPA goal.
The Administration also said it would not seek User Fees. But deep in the document, AOPA found a provision proposing an evaluation of the yet-to-be-formed air traffic control performance based-organization (PBO). The provision goes on to say that if the PBO doesn't work as planned, the Department of Transportation will consider "partial privatization" or "franchising" parts of ATC.
"As if Aviation didn't have enough to be concerned about in the post-September 11 environment, it now seems that privatization is creeping back up through all of the Security Concerns," said AOPA President Phil Boyer.
AOPA also warned that because much of the discretionary spending in the Bush Administration's Budget is going for Defense and Homeland Security, enormous pressure would be placed on funding for the FAA and other agencies.
Secondly, Fresh from their Congressional spring break, key members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Budget Committees are in negotiations that could bring a General Aviation Relief Bill (H.R. 3347) to the floor for a vote. The Bill would provide $2.5 Billion in direct aid and $3 Billion in loan guarantees to small General Aviation Businesses affected by the post-9/11 airspace shutdown.
Introduced by House Subcommittee Chairman John Mica of Florida, the General Aviation Industry Reparations Act of 2001 was reported out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on February 27th, and must now be approved by the full House of Representatives.
The AOPA Legislative Affairs staff is currently working with members of the two committees to gain support for the legislation. For more information see:
Thirdly, Here's an update on our Missouri Aviation Bills. Senate Bill's SS/SS/SCS/SBs 970, 968, 921, 867, 868 &738. This act removes the 2008 sunset on the 6-cent gas tax (Section 142.803) and eliminates the requirement that road projects be bid in sections not to exceed 10 miles (Section 227.100).
This act removes the cap on the amount of aviation jet fuel tax revenues which may be deposited in the Aviation Trust Fund. Current law only permits $5 million of the Aviation Jet Fuel Tax Revenues to be placed in the fund. Unfortunately the House Transportation Committee had a hearing on this Bill last Tuesday, April 9TH. The Committee voted a 1-cent sales tax increase for Transportation was tacked onto the bill.
This would give us more money, but significantly decreases the possibility of final passage says Brian Weiler, Missouri Department of Transportation Aviation Division. For more information see: http://www.house.state.mo.us/bills02/bills02/SB970.htm
Fourthly, House Bill 1207, Missouri Airport Protection Act (MAPA), has been passed by the Local Government and Related Matters, but the Bill has not been place on Calendar for a Full House Vote. This Bill seems to be another one that will not be placed on the House of Representatives Calendar this 2002 Session. For more information see:
Fifthly, Senate Bill 725, Missouri Airport Protection Act (MAPA), Second and Referred to Local Government & Economic Development Committee on 1/14/02.
Hearing Conducted by Local Government & Economic Development Committee on 1/29/02. This Bill seems to be still in Committee, and will probably be stalled out for this 2002 Calendar Session. For more information see: http://www.senate.state.mo.us/02info/actions/SB725a.htm
Now, In Conclusion, The Missouri House of Representatives 2002 Session of the 91ST General Assembly, Second Regular Session ends on May 17TH at 6:00 P.M. So time is running out for us again. Seem like every year we get stalled by some Representative or Senator either serving on a Committee or voting for some amendment attachment to a Bill. Seems like we may take another step back in time, but I grant you one thing, WE WILL NOT GIVE UP! WE WILL FIGHT FOR OUR MISSOURI AIRPORTS, TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT THEM!
We must continue working strongly together as one united voice! Then, and only Then will we make a "Difference for General Aviation in Missouri".
Until Next Time!
Larry G. Harmon
E-mail address: MPALHARMON@aol.com
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