Calif. Senate Committee Okays Production Retention Bill

The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act cleared another hurdle this week, passing the Senate Governance and Finance Committee 6-0.

The bill, which expands the tax incentives to keep TV and film production in California, passed the State Assembly last month 71-0.

Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra co-authored the bill with Assemblyman Mike Gatto.

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.

But it could have been worse. "Since its creation in 2009, the California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act prevented as many as 51,000 well-paying jobs from leaving the state, and helped generate $4.5 billion in economic activity," the legislators said in a statement.

“I remember when our communities lost all the good aerospace jobs,” said Gatto Wednesday following passage in the Senate committee.  “Losing major employers really harms local families and our state economy. This effort is a rare example of government taking proactive steps to ensure well-paying jobs stay in our communities.”

“We can’t sit by and watch a $17 billion dollar a year sector of our economy leave California,” said Bocanegra.  “This expanded and improved program will go a long way towards making California more competitive with other state’s programs. 

Next stop: The Senate Appropriations Committee.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.