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Calif. Tax-Credit Expansion Clears Key Hurdle

A bill that would expand funding for California’s film and television tax-credit program from $100 million to $400 million is headed to the floor of the State Senate. The bill was approved unanimously on Thursday by the five-member Senate Appropriations Committee. If it passes the full Senate, it will go to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown.

In addition to quadrupling its funding, the bill—dubbed California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act—would restructure several elements of the tax-credit program. One of the key changes would guarantee credits for recipient series being renewed.

The goal of the bill is to fight the trend of television and film production leaving California for other states, which in recent years have invested heavily in their own incentive programs. The bill was passed by the State Assembly in May.

“I’ve heard from so many people over the past year, who have told me about their family being torn apart because production left the state,” said Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who co-authored the bill with Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra. “This proactive effort ensures well-paying jobs stay in California and families remain together.”

California’s current legislative session ends Aug. 31. The bill would need to pass the Senate before that date to survive.