June 2006

GREETINGS! First, Here's an update from Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill on Wednesday June 7, 2006 that would order resumption of contract negotiations between the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the FAA.

The bill, proposed last week by Rep. Steven LaTour (R-Ohio) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) would stop the FAA from imposing a contract on NATCA and require the two sides to sit down again. The vote will come two days after the deadline for congressional action on the dispute (we don't know how that works either). It seems clear that Congress really doesn't want to get involved in the issues.

"We take the clock off it," LaTourette told Congress Daily. "It just leaves them-where we found them." On April 5, after eight months of negotiations ended with mutual barrage of brand name-calling and general acrimony, the FAA declared an impasse. That sent the whole mess to Congress, which showed little interest in arbitrating labor dispute. But legislators also appeared uncomfortable with allowing a settlement to be imposed. With the deadline looming, the political machinations began in earnest last week and there'll be a lot of fingers and toes crossed on both sides when legislators sit down Wednesday.

Secondly, Because the LaTourette-LoBiondo bill is jumping the line by not going through the usual vetting process in committee, it has to be introduced under a "suspension of the rules" with the blessing of House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader John Boehner. After that, it must pass with a two-thirds majority, the same level of support President Bush would need if he vetoed it. "We might as well get it now," LaTourette noted. Observers say the bill has a good chance to pass. The new bill is the much-softened culmination of a legislative path that began with a bid to strip the FAA of the power to exploit its powers in the impasse process. Not long after the impasse was declared, the bill was presented that would have automatically sent stalled contract talks between the FAA and the Controllers to binding arbitration parallel bill was also introduced in the Senate. The House bill had a clear majority support (including 75 Republicans) but there are reports that from Senior Republican members kept that bill stalled in committee and that the compromise LaTourette-LoBiondo bill has been agreed to by the majority of Republicans, many whom oppose congressional intervention in a labor dispute.

There are those in Congress who are itching to get into that fight, however. Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) is campaigning to defeat the bill as a way of reining in "out-of-control union compensation," he told the National Review.

Thirdly, Here's an update concerning Missouri Aviation. The only Airport and Aviation Bills are as follows:

Bills Indexed by Subject


HB 1529 --- Sponsor: Storch, Rachel
Requires statewide elected officials and the General Assembly to report any use of a private plane, the cost of the flight, and the passengers aboard the flight within 72 hours after the flight

HB 2005 --- Sponsor: Aull, Joe
Specifies the purposes for which the Civil Air Patrol may be used and clarifies the employment status of air patrol members and the sources of funding for various missions

SB 767
--- Sponsor: Graham, Chuck
Requires Office of Administration and Highway Patrol to oversee use of state aircraft and places restrictions on certain state officers with respect to use of state aircraft.

Note: Here's your web site address for Texas Legislation:
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Note: Here's your web site address for Illinois Legislation:
Look for Transportation-Aviation, to search all Aviation Bills.

Now, In Conclusion, Remember, we as USPA, MPA, EAA, AOPA, or any other State Pilot Associations of which you may be a member, all have a powerful voice, be it here in Missouri, Indiana, Texas, or whatever state you may represent. Every group of pilots and taxpayers carries a strong voice to Washington, D.C., and on the State and Local Level.

So Let's not forget to exercise our privileges, and continue to make a "Difference for General Aviation."



Larry G. Harmon
Legislation Chairman
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