Republican lawmakers in Georgia voted to eliminate a tax break Delta Air Lines receives over the airline’s decision to cut ties with the National Rifle Association and end a program that gave members a discount.
The airline, which employs over 33,000 workers, made the decision, along with many other companies, to weaken the NRA after a school shooting in Florida left 17 teenagers dead.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said that he would rally behind legislation that would end a tax exemption the airline receives on jet fuel ($38 million) as an incentive to keep the business’ headquarters in the state.
The Republican-controlled house voted 135-24 for a new version of a tax bill that would eliminate the tax exemption despite cries from some that the bill would hurt the state’s pro-business stance and serve as a First Amendment red flag.
House Speaker David Ralston, a Republican, said that there was no link between Delta’s NRA announcement and the release of the bill: “I hope they are better at flying airplanes than timing PR announcements,” he said.
The Senate passed the tax cut bill 44-10.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted: “Hey [Delta] —Virginia is for lovers and airline hubs. You’re welcome here any time.”
The move also has some speculating that the state has killed its chances of becoming the location for Amazon’s second major hub.