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EAA Fights to Save Minnesota Airport Funding

May 22, 2008 — EAA is strongly urging the governor of Minnesota to restore the state's Airport Fund before signing the fiscal year 2009 budget. During the final stages of the recent Minnesota budget process, the state legislature voted to divert $15 million from the airport fund to the general fund, action that would leave $5.5 million dollars to provide for the safety improvements and normal maintenance for Minnesota's 155 public use airports.

In a letter to Governor Tim Pawlenty, EAA strongly recommends he use his line item veto power to restore the money to the airport fund. The Minnesota legislature passed the state funding bill (HF 1812) and forwarded it to the governor on May 19, 2008.

"Minnesota has a very proud heritage of providing a network of public airports that are the safest in the country," said Randy Hansen, EAA government relations director. "EAA is very concerned this action would stop this tradition and create an atmosphere that would force airport managers to make critical safety decisions based solely on dollars verse the actual safety need."

Equally concerning to EAA is that the 155 public airports in Minnesota create an estimated statewide economic impact of over $15.7 billion, and any reduction in airport safety and maintenance funding will have an immediate and direct effect on the local economies served by these airports.

Because time is critical, EAA is also encouraging all EAA members and other general aviation enthusiasts in Minnesota to contact Governor Pawlenty and urge him to not raid the State Airport Fund. Governor Pawlenty can be reached at 651-296-3391, (fax) 651-296-2089, or tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us.

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