Spaceport Supporters Push For NM Legislation

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez has pushed unsuccessfully for two years for legislation to protect spacecraft manufacturers from legal liability.

She'll now have help from the Save Our Spaceport Coalition, a group of aerospace-related companies and business associations.

The group held a news conference Thursday in Albuquerque to tout the benefits of New Mexico's Spaceport America and the need for the legislation.

Among those in attendance was Virgin Galactic chief executive and president George Whitesides. Virgin Galactic is the anchor tenant at Spaceport America.

The legislation would exempt spacecraft parts suppliers from most civil lawsuits. It has been blocked by trial lawyers, but Spaceport America says the exemption is needed to attract more business to the taxpayer-financed spaceport.

The coalition says new laws in other states have put Spaceport America at a disadvantage.

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