Sometimes no news is good news. The California legislature didn't transfer $745,000 left over from last year's aeronautical budget into the general fund as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had proposed. Last year, some $4.8 million of aeronautics funding was lost to the general fund to bring down the state's catastrophic budget deficit. The year before that $6 million in aviation funding was hijacked.
But a budget conference committee - six members in all - saved the aeronautics funding this year as a compromise between the Assembly and Senate versions of the budget. Assemblyman Rick Keene was a key supporter according to budget committee staff. Sen. Wesley Chesbro, a Democrat and head of the California Senate Budget Committee, also supported the move.
AOPA Regional Representative John Pfeifer and the Association of California Airports had lobbied against aeronautics budget transfers for two years and made a few friends in the legislature in the process. Pfeifer brought airport managers to Senate and Assembly offices so legislators could hear of the budget impact directly from airport managers most affected.
August 12, 2004