June 3, 2004 — The South Carolina General Assembly has sent Governor Mark Sanford AOPA-endorsed legislation (H. 4537) that dedicates jet fuel tax revenues to funding airport improvements and increases general aviation's influence on state policy.
The approved legislation includes the key element AOPA lobbied for during this year's session — that the revenues from aviation jet fuel be spent exclusively for funding airport improvements rather than go to the state's general fund. The measure also creates a new state aeronautics commission with authority to nominate the state aviation director as well as guide the state's aviation programs. Each of the six commission members is required to have general aviation or related background.
"This landmark legislation reflects the true strength of the general aviation community across South Carolina," said AOPA Regional Representative Chris Hudson. "It provides both a voice and, more importantly, a new dedicated revenue stream to help ensure that pilots will be flying into safe, efficient airports."
Hudson pointed out that the legislation resulted from the unified efforts of the entire general aviation community, including AOPA members in the South Carolina General Assembly: House Ways and Means Chairman Bobby Harrell; Representative Bob Walker, and state Senator Phil Leventis.