We’re in the home stretch – and we need to sprint to the finish line.
As you may already know, SB 5539 was marked as necessary to implement the budget (NTIB) and included in the Senate budget this week, but not the House budget. Yesterday, the House passed their version of the statewide budget with a vote of 53 to 45. The Senate will likely pass their budget over the weekend, at which point both versions will be reconciled to create a final budget. We don’t anticipate movement on SB 5539 until this reconciliation process begins and both chambers consider bills that are NTIB.
During the interim period we need to exert pressure on members of the House of Representatives, as the bill must pass the House before it can be included in the final budget. In reaching out to your Representatives….
- Push The Vote
- Urge your Representatives to support the bill and tell Speaker Frank Chopp to schedule a vote on the floor of the House. Consider emailing Speaker Chopp directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to urge him to schedule a vote for SB 5539.
- Quantify The Impact
- Tell your Representatives how much more work you’ve had because of the incentive. Share how this has made a difference in your livelihood and that of your family.
- Flight of the Film Industry
- Reiterate that without the incentive program, studios and production companies will take their motion picture projects to one of the other 39 states with competitive production incentives. The film industry, its employment opportunities, and the revenue it provides to the state will vanish.
The most important thing to do now is email and call your Representatives. Find out who they are here. It is especially crucial that film industry supporters, who live outside of the two production centers of Spokane and Seattle, reach out to their Representatives. Remind them the film industry touches every city, county and region of the state.
Many of you have expressed interest in visiting Olympia to meet face-to-face with your Representatives. If you choose to make the journey, please let Washington Filmworks know in advance so that we can inform you about the concerns your Representatives have with the bill (if any). We have suggestions on how you may best address these concerns in conversation.
The legislative session is scheduled to end ONE WEEK FROM TODAY. The finish line is in sight – keep at it!