Texas Agricultural Aviation Association | www.taaa.org
May 5, 2017
TAAA Newsletter
Update on the Texas Legislature

The Texas Legislature meets for 140 days every odd-numbered year, beginning on the second Tuesday in January.  The last day of the current legislative session is May 29th, Memorial Day.  TAAA has been very active on behalf of the agricultural aviation industry at the State Capitol each of the past three sessions.
In the past sessions, TAAA's efforts have resulted in substantial savings for operators who pay the state's franchise tax, required marking of towers to improve their visibility and protected the current sales tax exemptions on ag aircraft.  TAAA is not pushing a major initiative this session but is watching closely those issues that directly impact agriculture. 
Some of the bigger picture issues that major agriculture interests always follow include all aspects of water usage and development, private property rights and taxes.  We will provide a comprehensive update on the session this summer. 
This session has been a challenging one.  As is the case in Washington, D.C., the Republicans are firmly in charge in Austin, but there is little consensus among them on many controversial issues.  In general, the Texas Senate leans more to the Tea Party Republican perspective, and the House is usually characterized as more moderate or Establishment Republican.  Most view the Governor as somewhere in between the two bodies. 
Beyond the lack of political consensus, the downturn in oil and gas revenues over the past year contributed to a budget shortfall of about $5 billion.  These factors have resulted in some observers noting that it seems harder to pass good bills and to kill bad ones than in past sessions.  This has been a good session for TAAA to thank its friends for all their help in past sessions, and otherwise to keep a lower profile. 
Set forth below is as summary of HB 572 that is making it through the process that would re-establish a ag pesticide disposal program.  Here is a press release put out this past week by the bill's author, Rep. Phil Stephenson (R - Wharton).


TAAA Scholarship Guidelines:
The scholarship competition is open to all TAAA members and family members. We have also included non-family members as long as they are sponsored by a TAAA member. The contest is also open to any allied industry member and family members. To qualify, dues must be paid by the organization or individual member on or before January 30, 2017.

Entrants must have or will be graduating from high school prior to the award date (May 30, 2017) and be enrolled in continuing education during the year of entry. This includes any college, technical school or any higher educational course programs.

Scholarship amount is $1,000.00 per winner.
Deadline is May 5, 2017

Essays must be 1,500 words or less. Topic is "The Importance of Agricultural Aviation" Papers submitted will be judged on content, theme development, clarity, originality and proper grammar. All sources used must be cited. Plagiarism will result in immediate disqualification. Entries must be typewritten and double-spaced.

To ensure that the judges will not know the identities of the writers, keep any reference to the author's name, sponsoring company and company location out of the essay itself. However, a title page should be attached with the entrant's name, address and telephone number. All essays become property of the WTAAA. The judges' decision is final. In the event the entries received lack outstanding merit, the WTAAA reserves the right not to award the scholarship(s).

Please send your manuscript (postmarked by May 5, 2017) to WTAAA Scholarship Chairman:Carissa Davis, PO Box 997,Panhandle, TX 79068. Any questions should be directed to Carissa Davis at (806)683-2411.

The winner(s) will be notified by phone and will be recognized at the 2017 TAAA Annual Convention as well as their local scholarship/awards night if applicable to the winner. Selected essays may be published in the TAAA Flyer magazine, the official publication of the TAAA.  
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TAAA | | lcampos@thetexascapitol.com | http://www.taaa.org
P.O. Box 684570
Austin, TX 78768