State Senator Bob Dutton

Liset Márquez, Staff Writer
Created: 05/03/2012 06:01:14 PM PDT

ONTARIO – A local senator may soon revive a bill aimed at helping this city gain autonomous control of the struggling LA/Ontario International Airport.

Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, created Senate Bill 446 in early 2011 in an effort to move discussions along between officials from Ontario and Los Angeles World Airports, which operates ONT under a 44-year joint-powers agreement.

The bill creates an Ontario International Airport Authority that is comprised of four directors from the city of Ontario and three directors from San Bernardino County.

Dutton tabled the bill in 2011 after negotiations between Ontario and Los Angeles officials had improved.

A Los Angeles City Council subcommittee in March agreed to analyze Ontario’s proposal to regain control of ONT.

“If the report is not favorable, then Dutton will revisit the bill,” Dutton’s spokesman Larry Venus said.

The subcommittee also agreed to produce a mid-report by the middle of May and a complete report in 90 days from when it was approved.

“He is not going to move the bill forward until after the report is released and dependent on what direction it goes, then (the) bill will move forward,” Venus said.

The bill has been approved by the Senate but has not reached the Assembly.

Using an urgency clause, the earliest the bill could come back for discussion would be in late June.

It would need two-thirds approval to pass, Venus said.

If the bill doesn’t move forward in a first try, Venus said they would have until late August.

“As long as discussion continues and there is a resolution between the parties, then Dutton would not move forward,” Venus reiterated.

San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt – whose district includes Ontario – has been closely following the development of Dutton’s bill.

Last year, Ovitt testified before a Senate committee in support of Dutton’s bill. The supervisor said he would do so again if needed.

“Sen. Bob Dutton’s legislation has been great in terms of bringing statewide attention and focus onto this issue,” Ovitt said.

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