Flight schools in California could get a stay from the California Private Postsecondary Act of 2009, a law that has had unintended consequences. Assembly Bill 1140 passed the Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development Committee by a vote of 6 to 1 Aug. 9. The bill would give flight schools 12 months to comply with the postsecondary act. The bill still faces significant legislative hurdles, however, and will need a fiscal analysis and could require another hearing from the Appropriations Committee or be sent directly to the California Senate floor for a vote.
The act, which was intended to protect students from unscrupulous businesses practices of some private educational providers, went into effect Aug. 1. The act requires flight schools to pay multiple new administrative fees and open their books to regulators. AOPA advised flight schools to file for a waiver from the act in advance of Aug. 1. Individual flight instructors, however, are not affected by the act and do not need to take any action, according to AOPA’s review of the law.
AOPA had worked to get a legislative fix before the Aug. 1 deadline, but the California legislature went into recess for the month of July. The issue has been one of the first priorities the lawmakers have addressed since returning to session.
“This committee vote is a step in the right direction, but we still face significant legislative hurdles,” said AOPA Director of State Government Affairs Mark Kimberling. “Given the immediate financial burden of these new fees on already ailing flight training operations, it is important that this legislation is passed prior to the close of this year’s session, and we will continue working to that end.”
The intent of the bill is to allow time for public hearings to be conducted to determine the impact of the law on flight schools and establish a permanent fix.
Editor’s Note: AOPA is working hard this issue behind the scenes note their last line of this article. The key word in the title of this article is – reprieve.