This report covers those
bills in the California Legislature that are related to aviation. It objectively
summarizes each bill’s impact on existing law and on aviation. The status of
bills in the legislative process is also provided (hearing dates, committee
assignments, etc.). The report includes a "position" (support, oppose, or
neutral) only when the Department officially adopts one. The report is published
monthly when the Legislature is in session.
This report covers those bills in the California Legislature that are related to aviation. It objectively summarizes each bill’s impact on existing law and on aviation. The status of bills in the legislative process is also provided (hearing dates, committee assignments, etc.). The report includes a "position" (support, oppose, or neutral) only when the Department officially adopts one. The report is published monthly when the Legislature is in session.
"Italics" indicates changes from the previous report.
*NOTE: "Italics" indicates changes from the previous report.
Selected Significant Aviation-Related Bills in the California Legislature
AB 37 (Strickland): “Sales and Use Taxes: Exemptions: Gasoline and Diesel
Fuel”: Existing law imposes a sales tax on
automotive gasoline and diesel fuel.
This bill would exempt those fuels from the sales and use taxes, but
would require the State to reimburse local governments for local revenues lost
from the exemption to the sales and use taxes (up to the 3½% portion of the
sales tax rate). The bill was “held
under submission” in the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation due to
AB 93 (Wayne): “San Diego County Regional Airport
Authority”: In 2000, SB 329 created a
San Diego Regional Government Efficiency Commission to consider alternative
forms of government in the County.
One of the most significant issues in SB 329 was to determine a location
that could work as a replacement to San Diego International Airport (Lindbergh
Field). AB 93 creates a regional
airport authority within San Diego County, to own and operate Lindbergh Field
(to be transferred from the San Diego Unified Port District), and also to look
for an alternative location. The
Authority is independent of any other regional governmental structure, and does
not go before the voters for approval, although SB 329 provided for
that. The Authority would act as
the: a) Airport land use commission
for San Diego County, replacing San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG);
b) Aviation planning agency for the County (also replacing SANDAG); and
c) Recipient of all state and federal airport grants, passing them through
to the airports’ owners and operators.
Proponents of the bill state that the bill resulted from a consensus of
local governments in the County.
AB 93 passed the Legislature, and is on the Governor’s
AB 243 (Runner): “Aircraft Jet Fuel Tax: Exemption”: Existing law imposes a sales and use tax
on aircraft jet fuel, which generates revenue for State and local general,
public safety, and transportation funds.
This bill would exempt aircraft jet fuel sold to an air common carrier of
property or persons at an airport in
an enterprise zone from the sales and use tax. AB 243 would exempt aircraft jet fuel
from the State General Fund portion of the sales tax (currently 4 ¾ %), but
would retain the local sales and use taxes imposed on jet fuel (up to 3 ½
%). AB 243 was “held under
submission” in the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation due to budget
AB 309 (Longville): “Sales and Use Taxes: Fuel: Prepayment”: Under existing law, aircraft jet fuel is
subject to the sales tax. This
bill’s provisions would conform with AB 2114, Chapter 1053 of the Statutes
of 2000, relating to the prepayment of the sales tax on aircraft jet fuel at the
first point of distribution.
Additional prepayments would be permissive if more than 75% of the gross
receipts are from the retail sale of motor vehicle fuel, diesel fuel, or
aircraft jet fuel. AB 309 passed the Legislature and is on the
AB 491 (Frommer): “Rental Vehicles: Passenger Vehicles”: Existing federal law provides that
revenues generated by an airport must be spent on the airport, or on a system of
airports owned by the airport’s sponsor. Existing state law provides for the terms and
conditions of rental vehicles, in support of a consolidated rental car facility,
or for common use by airport passengers moving between terminals and rental car
facilities. This bill defines a
“customer facility charge” (CFC) as it relates to rental vehicle charges imposed
by airports, and paid by the rental vehicle customer. For rates advertised by rental vehicle
companies to their customers, each company shall disclose the amount of the CFC,
and the “aggregate amount to be collected.” The bill states that
Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (BUR), and all other airports, may not use
revenues from the CFC on customers of rental car businesses for airport
expansion or on BUR’s replacement terminal. The CFC may not be used to operate or
maintain the rental car facility, and is only operative until the bonds used for
financing the facility are paid.
Other bill provisions are concerned with financial responsibility when
the renter has an accident. AB 491 passed the Legislature and is on
the Governor’s Desk.
AB 631 (Oropeza): Transportation: Needs Assessment: This bill would require completion of an
assessment of the State transportation system by the California Transportation
Commission, in conjunction with the regional transportation planning agencies
and the metropolitan planning organizations (RTPAs/MPOs), and the California
Department of Transportation. The
bill included “intermodal connections and airport facilities”, “goods movement
and transit equity assessment” in the assessment of condition, performance, and
deficiencies, to be completed every five years. The assessment is to include transportation
investments during the past five years to address deficiencies. AB 631 passed the Legislature and
is on the Governor’s Desk.
AB 1207 (Longville): “Small Wind Energy
Systems”: In recognition of the need to generate
more energy in California, this bill is intended to promote and encourage the
use of small wind energy systems and to limit obstacles to their use. Local governments can pass ordinances
that impose conditions on the installation of small wind energy systems, such as
compliance with federal requirements about installations close to airports, and
the State Aeronautics Act. The bill
would not allow such a system to be built, if prohibited by a comprehensive land
use plan and any implementing regulations adopted by an airport land use
commission. In agricultural areas,
the local government shall take reasonable steps to notify pest control aircraft
pilots registered to operate in the county. AB 1207 passed the Legislature and is on
the Governor’s Desk.
AB 1367 (Wiggins): “Land Use: School Siting”: The bill’s intent is to foster improved
communications and coordination between cities, counties, and school
districts. If a city or county, in
its zoning ordinance, has provided for the location of public schools and has
completed a general plan, then the school district would meet with the
appropriate agency of the city or county.
The city or county would be able to have a role in the siting of schools
within its land use jurisdiction.
AB 1367 passed the Legislature and is on the Governor’s
AB 1382 (Liu) and SB 921
(Knight): “Space Industry
Development”; SB 76 (O’Connell), SB 154 (Haynes), and SB 640 (Knight): “Sales and Use Tax Exemption: Space Flight”; and AB 1001
Industry”: AB 1382 and SB 921 would establish
a space industry development program in the Technology, Trade & Commerce
Agency. AB 1382’s provisions would
be funded through annual appropriations
of the Budget Act. SB 76,
SB 154, and SB 640 generally provide for exemptions from the sales tax for
property sold for use in space flight.
SB 76 would expand the exemption to include property used in spaceport
operations. SB 154 and SB 640
would allow material that is not intended to be launched into space to be exempt
from the sales tax. AB 1001 would
establish a “California Spaceport Development Zone Act of 2001”, which would
authorize the Technology, Trade & Commerce Agency to establish five
spaceport zones, comparable to enterprise zones, including tax incentives for
economic development primarily engaged in launch related activities. The spaceport zone would be in existence
40 years, and include a financing district.
AB 1382 passed the
Legislature and is on the Governor’s Desk. SB 921 has not yet been assigned to
a policy committee in the Senate.
SB 76 is scheduled for further hearing in the Senate Committee on
Revenue and Taxation. SB 154 is pending in the Senate Committee
on Revenue and Taxation.
SB 640 is pending in the
Senate Committee on Revenue and Taxation’s Inactive File. AB 1001’s hearing in the Assembly
Committee on Revenue and Taxation was postponed.
10. AB 1436 (Correa)
and SB 703 (Perata and
Bates): “Military Base Reuse: Orange County”: AB 1436 would prohibit the annexation
of any inhabited property on El Toro to any city, until El Toro has been
transferred to the local redevelopment authority recognized pursuant to
SB 703 would establish a new reuse entity for El Toro,
contingent on voter approval of “The Orange County Central Park and Nature
Preserve Initiative” on March 5, 2002.
Composition of the reuse entity and certain planning activities are
established in SB 703. AB 1436 failed passage on a vote of 6-18 on
the Senate Floor, but reconsideration was granted. SB 703 is pending in the Senate
Committee on Local Government.
11. ACR 119 and ACR 120
(Runner): “Aerospace Highway” and
“Aerospace Valley Monument”: These resolutions would dedicate a
portion of State Highway 14 near Edwards Air Force Base as the “Aerospace
Highway,” and establish a monument and plaque in that area, in recognition of
the major accomplishments of aviators in the region. ACR 119 and ACR 120 have not yet been
assigned to a policy committee.
12. AJR 9 (Runner): “Space Shuttle”: This resolution would request the
President and Congress to consider the continuation of the “Space Shuttle
Modification Program” at Plant 42 in Palmdale, and other space industry
objectives. AJR 9 is Resolution Chapter 98, of the
Statutes of 2001.
13. AJR 29 (Florez): “Flight Training Schools”: The author notes that some
of the September 11, 2001 terrorists learned to pilot an aircraft in the
U.S. The resolution requests
Congress to instruct the FAA to implement security measures including, but not
limited to, identification, fingerprinting, and domestic and international
background checks for students and trainees at private or government-operated
flight training schools. AJR 29
passed the Legislature.
14. SB 13 (McClintock): “Sales and Use Tax: Rate Reduction”: Existing law provided for a reduction of
¼ % in the sales tax under certain positive economic conditions. This reduction took place on January 1,
2001 for one year; this bill would make the reduction permanent. The bill failed to pass the Senate
Committee on Revenue and Taxation, but it was granted reconsideration. The bill’s subsequent hearing was
canceled at the request of the author.
15. SB 244 (Speier): “Environmental Quality: Airport Expansion and Enlargement
Projects”: This bill would: a) Require any airport expansion or
enlargement of a publicly owned airport, which needs to acquire “tide and
submerged lands, or other lands subject to the public trust for commerce,
navigation, or fisheries” for that project, to have a 120-day public review
period for any draft environmental impact report; b) Defines “carrying out or
approving a project” to include consideration of a plan for expansion or
enlargement of an airport; and c) Adds language to the State Aeronautics Act in
the Public Utilities Code, where “acquisition of land” would include “tide and
submerged lands, or other lands subject to the public trust for commerce,
navigation, or fisheries”. SB 244
is supported by the San Francisco International Airport. A bill recently introduced in Congress,
H.R. 2107, would preempt states and their political subdivisions from
prohibiting runway expansion projects at medium and large hub airports in the
U.S. (there are nine such airports in California, including Los Angeles, San
Francisco, and San Diego International Airports). SB 244 passed the Legislature and is on the
16. SB 656 and SB 1054 (Knight): “Military Base
Retention”: SB 656 would establish the Military Base
Retention Authority Act, to include single reuse authorities for retention
planning for military bases. A list
of military bases in SB 656 include several existing aviation facilities, but
does not contain any that are proposed for closure or realignment. SB 1054 shall recognize the local reuse
authority as the agency for planning the retention of military bases. SB 656 is pending in the Senate
Committee on Local Government. SB 1054 passed the Legislature and is on the
17. SB 822 (Poochigian): “County Sheriffs: Search and Rescue”: The sheriff of each county has search
and rescue responsibilities. This
bill would specifically include searching for persons in missing or downed
aircraft. The sheriff may transfer
this responsibility to another agency or jurisdiction through a written
agreement. Any expense incurred in
the activity would be considered a proper county charge. This bill was scheduled for hearing in
the Senate Committee on Local Government, but the hearing was canceled at the
request of the author.
18. SB 865 (Polanco): “California-Mexico Border Infrastructure
Financing Authority”: Population growth along the California
and Mexico border will lead to “escalating infrastructure deficits” by 2020,
including airports. This bill would
create the above authority, which would be required to issue revenue bonds for
construction of infrastructure.
Projects would be revenue-generating, such as air cargo facilities. The bill was held in the Assembly Committee
19. SB 869 (Karnette): Department of Transportation: Airport Assessment Study”: Under existing law, Caltrans is
responsible for developing a California Aviation System Plan. This bill would require Caltrans to
conduct a needs assessment study on airports, including an airport inventory,
capacity of airports for air traffic, projected growth of the airports, planned
airport expansions, and infrastructure evaluation. SB 869 was scheduled for hearing in the
Senate Committee on Transportation, but it was canceled at the request of the
author. It is our understanding that SB 869
will be a two-year bill, in order to conduct additional research.
20. SB 1053 (Knight): “Centennial of Flight
Program”: Under existing law, the California
Department of Education (CDE) is required to assist school districts in
developing an aviation education program.
SB 1053 would emphasize, in that aviation education program, materials to
commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first
flight. CDE would be encouraged to
use resources from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the
U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission.
School districts are encouraged to integrate aviation into mathematics,
science, social studies, and vocational training, and to work with NASA centers
in California. SB 1053’s hearing on August 22, 2001 in the
Assembly Committee on Appropriations was
21. SJR 17 (Vincent): “Federal Interstate Highways: International Airports: Schools”: SJR 17 was amended recently,
stating airports and freeways have a “significant detrimental impact on adjacent
schools”; the resolution suggests that billboard revenue could offset the
detrimental impacts. The resolution
urges Congress and the President to establish a “Federal Transportation Impact
Assistance Program” for schools located within two miles of an international
airport, or adjacent to federal-aid highways. The resolution passed the Senate and is
pending in the Assembly Committee on Transportation.
22. SJR 24 (Knight): Military Base Closures”: The author states that additional military bases will close in 2003 and 2005. This resolution would advocate the continued existence of military bases in California through the next round of base closures. The resolution has not yet been assigned to a policy committee.