Legislative Affairs

The Legislative Section of the LAMA Website provides a central portal for regulatory issues that affect Aviation.  This page provides direct access to both the Federal and State Legislatures as well as information on critical issues that require a call to action.

2020 Legislative Recap

This year was interesting at the Louisiana State Capitol. Five days after the Regular Legislative Session opened, the COVID19 pandemic set in and the State was forced to recess for six weeks. The Legislative Session resumed after COVID19 precautions were in place and was not exactly business as normal at the Capitol. Temperature readings, facemasks and lack of interaction made things considerably different as bills began making the way through the process with little to no opposition. The impacts of the pandemic made the regularly packed hallways – eerily quiet as the business of the State was being handled.

As the Regular Session ended, the Legislators called themselves into another Special Session with a list of items to be considered included the budget and the spending bills fo the State. For an additional four weeks the Government Relations Lobbying team continued to represent LAMA and was ready and prepared to take on challenges that could have made significant impacts on how airports operate and conduct business in Louisiana. Stay tuned and do not be surprised to see yet another Special Session called again in the fall of 2020. See below the list bills that were highlights on the first two Legislative Sessions.

House Bill 2 - Representative Stuart J. Bishop (R)

CAPITAL OUTLAY: Provides for the comprehensive Capital Outlay budget

Support – Signed by Governor

This bill provides for the capital outlay budget and program for FY 2020-2021. Each year the “Aviation Trust Fund” is the state portion that airports receive. We maintained our level of funding and made sure we were not impacted by potential cuts to our funding.

AVIATION IMPROVEMENTS
State Aviation and Airport Improvement Program (Statewide)
Payable from Transportation Trust Fund – Regular $ 28,215,048

House Bill 282 - Bagley, Larry (R)

Provides for lease terms of airport facilities.

OPPOSED – never heard in committee

HB 282 proposed to remove lease requirements that authorize the lessor to grant the option to extend the primary airport facility lease term for an additional period of not more than 10 years based on the amount of permanent improvements added or contracted to be added. The proposed bill repeals the present law as it pertains to airport leasing requirements and improvements. This bill was never heard in committee but this measure would have been negatively impactful for airports across the state and how the leasing of land provides stability and access and amount of state and federal dollars would have been in question. We are working with House Representative Larry Bagley to educate and find a balance of what problem he is trying to solve.

House Bill 315 - Stefanski, John (R)

Provides relative to meetings of public bodies.

OPPOSED – never heard in committee

HB 315 was a measure that proved to be problematic as it never had first hearing process at the Captiol. This bill added and outlined cumbersome additions to public meetings which would have included Airport Commission meetings. This would have added time and caused much confusion to undue how procedures have been in place for decades.

House Bill 470 - Brass, Ken (D)

Provides for penalties for unlawful use of an unmanned aircraft.

Support – Never heard in committee

HB 470 proposed increases the penalties and fines for use of a UAV/Drone in restricted areas including airports.

House Bill 519 Crews, Raymond (R)

Requires the addition of a member with aviation experience to airport authorities.

OPPOSED – died in House Transportation Committee

HB519 required an addition of an Airport Commissioner to have either a Federal Aviation Administration private pilot’s license or has served as a required aviation crew member in the United States. These limiting requirements to serve on an airport commission caused serious concern for many members of LAMA. The airport commissions are comprised of elected/selected/appointed to serve and this would have been yet another hurdle to accomplish the goals of what is best for an airport. There is nothing in the law that prohibits a private pilot or someone who has served in US Aviation crew member from being on an airport commission. In fact, some airports currently fit this model of having a member meet these requirements. This bill was opposed in committee and the points made by LAMA were well received as the bill died in the first hearing it received in the House Transportation Committee.

2020 Final Report for Regular and Special Sessions

House Bill 748 Bagley, Larry (R)

Provides relative to airport facilities.

OPPOSED – never heard in committee

This bill would have impacted commercial air carrier and general aviation airports by decreasing the amount of the permanent improvements constructed, placed, or made to the land from $20,000 to $10,000 to grant an option to extend the primary lease for an additional 10-year period. Also the bill proposed to modify present law by decreasing the monetary threshold of the addition or construction of improvements for general aviation airports from $60,000 to $30,000 to grant the option for the lessor to extend the primary term of a lease and in the same way prosed to decrease the monetary threshold of the addition or construction of improvements for air carrier airports from $100,000 to $50,000 to grant the option for the lessor to extend the primary term of a lease. These improvements are critical for airports and a decrease in these values of investments would negatively impact the value of the airport and set a new precedent for tenants moving forward. Although this bill did not get a hearing, we will be ready to defend the bill next time.

Federal Affairs

United States Senate

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R)
United States Senate
Sen. John Kennedy (R)
United States Senate

United States House of Representatives

Rep. Steve Scalise (R)
1st District
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D)
2nd District
Rep. Clay Higgins (R)
3rd District
Rep. Mike Johnson (R)
4th District
Rep. Ralph Abraham (R)
5th District
Rep. Garrett Graves (R)
6th District

State Affairs

Louisiana State Senate

Louisiana State House of Representatives

Action Center

There are currently no “Calls to Action” for Louisiana at this time.

The firm of ROEDEL PARSONS KOCH BLANC BALHOFF & McCOLLISTER has been contracted for 2020 as the lobbyist for LAMA. They will keep a close watch on bills that may affect aviation and/or airports in Louisiana and continuously update the executive board on the status of bills in both the House and Senate. A “call for action” will be published if necessary.