Thursday, January 31, 2008
Virginia Zero-G, Zero-Tax Advances
State Senator William C. Wampler, Jr. (R-Bristol) and State Seantor Phillip Puckett (D-Russell County) advanced the so-called Virginia 'Zero-G, Zero-Tax bill [SB 286] from the Senate Finance Committee on a 16-to-0 vote. The measure is now poised for a Senate floor vote this week or next.
"Senator Wampler and Senator Puckett were the point-of-the-spear" in advancing the ZeroG, ZeroTax measure forward and out of the all important Senate Finance Committee," noted space advocate Jack Kennedy. "I am quite grateful to the Senate Finance Committee's faith and wisdom."
Meanwhile, the five House 'Zero-G, Zero-Tax' bills have been merged into House Bill 238 carried by State Delegate John Cosgrove (R-Chesapeake) after being held-up in a House Finance subcommittee with the possibility of being held over until next year. The Senate action prompted the House subcommittee to recommend reporting the measure to the full Finance Committee and on to the House floor. House action is expected next week.
Both bill are now expected to pass the Legislature but there remains a possibility of a legislator seeking to re-refer back to committee. Therefore, space advocates must remain watchful.
Other measures to advance the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport remain in the House Rules Committee offered by State Delegate Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomack) and Cosgrove. The V-PRIZE / FAA-AST study resolution has passed both the House and Senate offered by State Delegate Terry G. Kilgore. Kilgore patroned the Spaceflight Liability and Immunity Act last year.