And they’re off!
On May 3, 2012, the House and Senate each passed SB112 SD1, HD1, CD1 on final reading.
It authorizes $250,000 of state funds to prepare a spaceport licensing application, as long as the funding is matched by federal funds on a 1-1 basis.
It was signed into law by Governor Abercrombie on Friday, May 11.
Three days before it was signed into law, the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism filed a “request for exemption” seeking permission to proceed with a non-bid contract with Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc. valued at $500,000.
The department was racing to meet a grant application deadline of May 11 for an FAA/AST Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching Grant that would “provide the funding required to complete a spaceport application with the FAA.”
Now, how does this work? The application was due the same day as the bill was signed into law. But the request to exempt this contract from the state’s requirement for competitive bidding is still pending.
I have to say that it’s not clear to me why we are suddenly gung-ho over the possibility of space tourism and going to warp speed to push it forward. What am I missing?