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Calif. Assembly Votes to Boost Production Incentives

The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act passed unanimously (71-0) Wednesday in the California State Assembly.

The bill expands the tax incentives to keep TV and film production in California.

“We can’t sit by and watch a $17 billion dollar a year sector of our economy leave California,” said Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, who co-authored the bill with Assemblyman Mike Gatto. “This expanded and improved program will go a long way towards making California more competitive with other state’s programs."

The goal of the bill is to stem increasing competition from subsidies by other states and countries. According to Labor Department statistics, from 2004 through 2012, California lost 16,000 film and TV jobs and $1.5 billion in lost wages and economic activity.

The California Film & Television Production Alliance--comprising unions, guilds and small businesses--was understandably pleased at the news.

"[T]he strength of the unanimous vote demonstrates the Assembly Members’ clear understanding of the vital economic importance of the motion picture industry to California and their determination to return this state to a competitive position," the alliance said. "Our industry has been a vital part of California’s heritage and we want to continue be part of the Golden State’s economic vitality in the 21st century. This vote puts us one step closer to that reality.”

The bill now moves to the State Senate.