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Aviation caucus growing in California legislature

The California legislature’s new aviation caucus is growing, with four members having recently joined the original 17 lawmakers who came together to found the organization in January.

There are now eight Senate members of the aviation caucus in the 40-seat upper chamber, up from seven; and 13 members of the aviation caucus in the 80-seat Assembly, up from 10,  said Melissa McCaffrey, AOPA Western/Pacific regional manager.

Co-chairs of the aviation caucus are state Sen. Jean Fuller (R-District 16), who is the Senate Republican leader; and Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-District 23). The Republican leader in the Assembly, Kristin Olsen (R-District 12), is an aviation caucus member.

AOPA has been active in urging members to join the caucus, which organized “‘for the purpose of protecting and promoting the aviation industry, which is vital to the state’s economy and welfare,’” AOPA reported when the group formed in January.

The caucus’s scope also includes advocating for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and encouraging local governments to ensure that compatible land-use policies are in practice around airports.

McCaffrey urges AOPA members in other states to encourage their lawmakers to join or create similar aviation-advocacy bodies to highlight aviation issues in state capitols.

“There is great benefit for AOPA members in having their lawmakers organize to support general aviation,” she said. “The more caucus members there are, the easier it is to raise interest in aviation issues that affect all residents directly or indirectly.”

A General Aviation Caucus is also active in both houses of the U.S. Congress. Are your elected representatives aviation caucus members? Check here.

Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz
Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 35-year AOPA member.
Topics: GA Caucuses, Advocacy, Aviation Industry

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