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.
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 (email@example.com) 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!
Olympia Office: (360) 786-7936.
The House Ways & Means Committee meets today (Saturday 2/25) to discuss the proposed statewide budget that was introduced in the House of Representative last week. Because the budget takes priority, few other bills will be considered today. The Ways & Means Committee meets again, at 10 a.m. on Monday (2/27). SB 5539 could be a part of that agenda.
Elected officials that support the bill continue to lobby Representative Hunter and Speaker Chopp in order to secure a hearing on the bill. Both Representative Hunter and Speaker Chopp have acknowledged the emails, letters and phone calls from the community. This effort is an important part of our campaign — please keep it up! If you have already contacted their offices, you can call or write again to express your disappointment that SB 5539 was not on today’s agenda Ways & Means Committee and urge them to include the bill in their agenda on Monday, February 27.
- Remind Speaker Chopp and Representative Hunter that SB 5539 passed the Senate with an overwhelming majority vote, 40 to 8.
- Remind them that SB 5539 passed the House Committee on Community & Economic Development & Housing with an overwhelming majority vote, 8 to 1.
- Remind them that SB 5539 deserves to be considered in the House Ways & Means Committee.
Please help spread the word and encourage people to write and call TODAY!