The House of Representatives passed E2SSB 5539, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, with a vote of 92 to 6. Governor Gregoire has 20 days to sign the bill in to law. We will let you know as soon as the bill signing is scheduled.
This morning Washington Filmworks Board members Becky Bogard and Greg Smith, Executive Director Amy Lillard, and Rebecca Johnson of the Washington State Labor Council were in Olympia to testify at a public hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee.
Approximately 30 film industry professionals attended in support of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (E2SSB 5539) and were acknowledged at the start of testimony. Thank you to the film community for your time this morning. It was a long drive for such a limited opportunity to share our story. Please know your presence made a difference. We are blown away!
If you were unable to join us this morning video is now available online at TVW. Testimony and questions about E2SSB 5539 begin at 7:00 min and end at 26:20. We are waiting to hear if Ways & Means will reconvene this evening for an Executive Session.
Please stay tuned to the blog and facebook page for updates as we know more.
We have just been alerted that a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee has been scheduled for TOMORROW at 10:00 a.m. Washington Filmworks (WF) Board members Becky Bogard and Greg Smith, along with Executive Director Amy Lillard, will testify in support of the legislation. We encourage members of the film industry to attend the hearing tomorrow in Olympia. Because time is limited on the agenda, proponents will not be able to testify, but may sign in to support the legislation. The following are the relevant details for the hearing:
House Hearing Room A
John L. O’Brien Building
If you plan to attend please email to Amy@WashingtonFilmworks.org. We have included driving directions to Olympia, parking instructions, and a map of the Capitol Campus in this .pdf Visiting the Capitol. If you are unavailable to attend this hearing, we urge you to write and call your Representatives to ask them to support SB 5539 when it comes to the floor of the House for a vote. You may find your legislators here:
If your Representative sits on the Ways & Means Committee, ask them to pass SB 5539 out of committee with no additional amendments. We have provided a list of those members and their legislative districts below.
This is great news and a critical step in our renewal campaign. Please consider joining us in Olympia tomorrow, and contact your Representatives TONIGHT.
House Ways & Means Committee Members
|Hunter, Ross (D) Chair||48||(360) 786-7936|
|Darneille, Jeannie (D) Vice Chair||27||(360) 786-7974|
|Hasegawa, Bob (D) Vice Chair||11||(360) 786-7862|
|Alexander, Gary (R)||20||(360) 786-7990|
|Bailey, Barbara (R)||10||(360) 786-7914|
|Dammeier, Bruce (R)||25||(360) 786-7948|
|Orcutt, Ed (R)||18||(360) 786-7812|
|Carlyle, Reuven (D)||36||(360) 786-7814|
|Chandler, Bruce (R)||15||(360) 786-7960|
|Cody, Eileen (D)||34||(360) 786-7978|
|Dickerson, Mary Lou (D)||36||(360) 786-7860|
|Haigh, Kathy (D)||35||(360) 786-7966|
|Haler, Larry (R)||8||(360) 786-7986|
|Hinkle, Bill (R)||13||(360) 786-7808|
|Hudgins, Zack (D)||11||(360) 786-7956|
|Hunt, Sam (D)||22||(360) 786-7992|
|Kagi, Ruth (D)||32||(360) 786-7910|
|Kenney, Phyllis Gutierrez (D)||46||(360) 786-7818|
|Ormsby, Timm (D)||3||(360) 786-7946|
|Parker, Kevin (R)||6||(360) 786-7922|
|Pettigrew, Eric (D)||37||(360) 786-7838|
|Ross, Charles (R)||14||(360) 786-7856|
|Schmick, Joe (R)||9||(360) 786-7844|
|Seaquist, Larry (D)||26||(360) 786-7802|
|Springer, Larry (D)||45||(360) 786-7822|
|Sullivan, Pat (D)||47||(360) 786-7858|
|Wilcox, J.T. (R)||2||(360) 786-7912|
If you are not already aware, recent happenings over the weekend have led to an unprecedented situation with our state’s budget. This afternoon we had confirmation from our legislative team that SB 5539 is still in play due to the fact that the bill had previously been declared necessary to implement the budget (NTIB). Olympia is currently realigning legislative priorities, however the renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program continues to be an important part of the conversation. We are hopeful that SB 5539 will be scheduled for a hearing in the Ways & Means Committee of the House this week.
Thank you to the Washington film community for your diligence and tireless efforts. We acknowledge that our calls to action may sound like a broken record at times. Rest assured that your voices are being heard and your calls, emails and visits to Olympia ARE WORKING!
We humbly ask, once again, that you continue to contact your Representatives and Speaker of the House, Frank Chopp. Ask Speaker Chopp to ensure that SB 5539 is brought to the floor for a vote and ask your Representatives for their support.
We also encourage you to use the toll-free Legislative Hotline in Olympia (1-800-562-6000) or the IndieClub website (www.IndieClub.com/wasupport) to contact members of the House of Representatives.
On March 6th The Stand featured an article sharing Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) support for SB 5539, stating that “… even amid a state revenue crisis, this is a “tax incentive” that has earned strong support from organized labor.” At the 2011 WSLC Convention, delegates representing unions across Washington voted unanimosuly to support the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. Head on over to The Stand for the full article.
Thanks to the Washington State Labor Council for your support!
The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce supports the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. Last week they sent a letter of support for SB 5539 to the Seattle Delegation of the Washington State House of Representatives. The Seattle Delegation includes the following Representatives:
- Rep. Reuven Carlyle (36th)
- Rep. Eileen Cody (34th)
- Rep. Frank Chopp (43rd)
- Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (36th)
- Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (34th)
- Rep. Bob Hasegawa (11th)
- Rep. Zack Hudgins (11th)
- Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (46th)
- Rep. Jamie Pederson (43rd)
- Rep. Eric Pettigrew (37th)
- Rep. Gerry Pollet (46th)
- Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos (37th)
March 1, 2012
Dear Seattle Delegation Representatives,
On behalf of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, I strongly urge you to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program by approving SB 5539.
The Seattle Metro Chamber has been a longtime supporter of this program, and worked to get the incentive in place. We also highlighted its importance on our 2008 study mission to Austin, and supported the increase in the incentive in the following session.
Motion picture production gives back, providing thousands of jobs and generating millions of dollars in economic activity to the state. To maintain our state’s competitive position in this industry, the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program was created and has been the best tool that our state has to win motion picture business, create jobs, and help fuel the state’s economy.
Since launching the program in February 2007, a total of 71 projects have completed principal photography with the help of funding assistance through Washington Filmworks. This has resulted in $69.2M of direct spending in our statewide economy, with $31.2 million spent on wages and benefits for Washington workers and $38 million being spent with Washington-based businesses that rely on film work to keep their doors open and to employ their full-time staff, including many of our members.
The film industry also provides a boost to the economy as a whole: the Washington State Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission estimates that each dollar spent here by the film industry yields $1.99 of economic activity in the state and local economies. This means that the $20 million of funding assistance committed to productions has generated $137.7 million of economic activity, a 689 percent return on our state’s investment.
The Motion Picture Competitiveness Program has proven to be a viable and important economic development driver for the state. Without it the production industry’s investment in the state will vanish, as will the employment opportunities it provides. I strongly urge you to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program during the 2012 legislative session.
The last few days have been tumultuous in Olympia, but the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program continues to be in play.
Recent events require adjustments in the scheduling of legislation up for consideration. We do not believe these events will impact decisions about the film incentive bill. We continue to speak with Representatives in preparation for SB 5539 being considered by the full House.
Once again, we encourage film industry professionals and supporters to contact their Representatives. Ask them to vote yes on SB 5539 when it is brought to the House floor for consideration.