Arizona and Colorado legislatures consider space industry legislation

The Arizona House approved this week legislation to provide liability indemnification for commercial spaceflight operators in the state. The bill, HB2163, passed unanimously Wednesday after goes on to the state Senate. The bill is similar to laws in several other states that requires spaceflight participants to sign a liability release agreement, and protects companies in the state, including both operators and suppliers, from lawsuits in the event of an accident, with the usual exclusions in the event of gross negligence of intentional actions.

According to the East Valley Tribune, the legislation improves the state’s “chances of landing a spaceport.” However, the primary beneficiary is World View Enterprises, the Tucson-based company that announced plans last year to carry people on high altitude balloons, and do so under an FAA launch license. The company has proposed performing those flights from near the northern Arizona city of Page, although the company is also considering potential locations in Nevada.

In Colorado, officials with several business organizations pressed the state’s legislature to approve a set of bills to support various industries in the state in a rally outside the state capitol on Thursday. Among the bills they support is HR1178, which would provide a sales and use tax exemption for “qualified property used in space flight.” The bill, introduced in the Colorado House late January, has yet to be considered by the full House, although its finance committee did favorably report it out last month and referred it to the appropriations committee.

6 comments to Arizona and Colorado legislatures consider space industry legislation

  • amightywind

    Why states think that commercial space ports are financially I’ll never know. I suppose they think of it like green energy, and they can chisel money off of the federal subsidies.

  • James

    This reminds me of the gold rush mentality. Everyone wanted in on it.
    Except in this case, there isn’t gold…at least not in every state, and surely not in ho hum land locked states.


  • Malmesbury

    The current system of government in the US imposes high taxes and regulation on those that don’t buy favors from politicians local and federal.

    The polite version of this is politicians offering exemptions for “industries of the moment”. They will expect a… return on their political investment

    • James

      Yes, i figured the rationale for this has nothing to do with actually becoming a spaceport, but addressing local politicians agendas – which has nothing to do with contributing to the citizenry

      • Malmesbury

        No – there will be a spaceport and the idea (at least to the politicians) is that the citizenry will get their share. A small share of the proceeds….

        The problem is that the need to fund raise is a constant hunger. A congressman needs to raise 6 figures a week every single week they are in office to get re-elected. Not much better at state level.

        This is why they like the deals, single sourced contracts etc. If they know exactly where the money is going, they know exactly who should be grateful for the money….

        This is the reason that commercial space & SAAs are *hated* by on the Hill. Instead of the congress criters voting for who *exactly* gets the money, some ^&^*ers in the Executive Branch (NASA) get to decide who they go with based on some nonsense about the best bid. The criters can only vote to approve or cancel the program. No way to make sure a contract goes to those nice people in Florida who’s lobbyist took you out for that very nice lunch.

        • Neil Shipley

          Is bribery really at that level in the U.S.? Six figures a week? God no wonder you have political stalemate at every turn as well as simple porkfests for vested interests.

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