MPA LEGISLATION REPORT
GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. Apparently some U.S. Senators agree. In a recent
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on security of Nuclear Facilities, Senator Kit Bond (R-Mo.)
stated that, "Commercial nuclear plants are probably the most physically secure and least vulnerable of our
nation's industrial infrastructure." Senator Bond went on to say, "I urge all of you, if you haven't
seen it, to view the videotape of a government test where they crashed an F-4 jet fighter into a containment wall
nearly 500 miles per hour. The jet was obliterated and the 6-foot wall was penetrated only 2 inches." At the
same hearing, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) submitted the report commissioned by AOPA concluding that GA aircraft
do not threaten nuclear power plants. For more information see:
Secondly, The FAA anticipates issuing a formal notice to solicit public comments on AOPA's proposal that pilots be required to carry a valid government photo ID, in addition to their pilot and medical certificates, according to the Transportation Security Administration's just released Report to Congress on Enhanced Security Measures.
For more information see: http://www.aopa.org/whatsnew/newsitems/2002/020530tsa.html
TSA has been charged with overseeing all security issues pertaining to transportation, including working with the FAA to incorporate photographs on pilot certificates. "While I'm pleased that the administration is moving forward on our petition, bureaucratic delays shouldn't delay a commonsense approach that can be implemented almost immediately," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. TSA's report to Congress fulfills a Legislative requirement set forth by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act that was signed into law by President Bush on November 19, 2001.
Thirdly, Here's an update on our Missouri Aviation Bills. Governor Holden signed HB 1196 on May 28th, 2002 which among other things, extends the jet fuel transfer to 12/31/08, and raises the annual cap to $6 million, and changes the State Aviation Grant Match from 20% to 10%. However, the grant match change does not take effect until August 28th of this year.
I did some investigation about what happened in those final days and traced it back to MoDOT's Governmental Affairs Office. They saw the SB 970 was getting so many amendments tacked onto it, that passage was becoming unlikely. So they took several of MoDOT's Legislative Priorities that were in SB 970 (design/build, 10 mile contracting rule, billboards, and the aviation stuff) and got them tacked onto HB 1196.
HOWEVER, and this is a big however, I credit the Aviation Community as a whole for educating the Missouri Legislature about the need for Aviation Funding to the point that there was virtually no opposition to this issue, and it was basically a none issue.
I know we didn't get the Missouri Airport Protect Act (MAPA) passed, but I still feel this was a very successful legislative year for Missouri Aviation. We may want to consider a different approach to the MAPA next year, or don't push it for a year or so.
Fourthly, Here's some more Important Information. MoDOT, and other Transportation Organizations will be out soon talking about the proposed state transportation tax increase that will be on the ballot on August 6TH, 2002. It would raise the state sales tax by ½% and increase the state motor fuel tax by 4 cents per gallon. IT DOES NOT RAISE AVIATION FUEL TAXES! But it would provide some additional funding for State Aviation and the other modes of transportation (ports, rail, transit). You will hear more about this very soon.
Now, In Conclusion, Remember, We as MPA Members, has a powerful voice, and we carry a lot of clout, more than we think we do! So let's make our voices heard, when our Missouri Airports are in jeopardy or our rights as Pilots are at stake. Then, and only then we will make a "Difference for General Aviation in Missouri."
Until Next Time!
Larry G. Harmon
E-mail address: MPALHARMON@aol.com
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