While many folks took a Presidents' Day holiday, AOPA Regional Representative Bob Dickens was in Jefferson City, Missouri, working to beat back a bill that would take funds away from aviation.
Missouri Senate Bill 917 would transfer funds from the state's aviation trust fund to the general fund, and that would have a profound impact on Missouri general aviation airports.
"While AOPA understands the fiscal challenges facing Missouri, we cannot stress enough the necessity of properly funding aviation," AOPA wrote in a letter to Missouri Senate Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee Chairman John Cauthorn. "Funding GA airports directly supports the goal of moving people and goods more efficiently and enhancing Missouri's economic competitiveness."
AOPA also pointed out that taking the aviation funds might very well run afoul of the FAA. When Kentucky considered similar legislation, the state "was notified by the Federal Aviation Administration that diversion of tax revenue from aviation sources at federally obligated airports for non-airport purposes is 'generally contrary to federal law.'" Kentucky backed away from the proposal.
Updated: February 21, 2006, 8:50 a.m. EST