June 27, 2018: VIDEO - Gov. Brown renews film-tax program to help film/TV industries through 2025

June 27, 2018

Sen. Holly J. Mitchell-led effort extends film-tax program

LOS ANGELES – Gov. Jerry Brown today signed legislation by Sen. Holly J. Mitchell extending a model program to keep and create mostly off-screen jobs in California’s renowned film and TV industries.

“In 2009, a steady stream of film and TV production was leaving California for states actively recruiting them, and taking with it millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Mitchell, of Los Angeles, said after the lawmakers voted in support of her measure by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. “It is clear that this program is doubling and tripling investments in our communities and in California’s film and television legacy.”

Originally, part of Senate Bill 951, the legislation was approved as part of budget follow-up language and, now that it has been signed by Brown, extends the California Film and Television Production Act from June 30, 2020 to June 30, 2025.

To date, the program has allocated $840 million in tax credits to 150 approved projects. Those numbers reflect 18,000 cast members hired; 29,000 crew members hired; and 13 TV series that relocated to California from out of state.

The additional language would require that all participating productions create and enforce a harassment free environment “The existence of a clear harassment policy will be required of incentivized productions and must include clear procedures for reporting and investigating claims, along with educational training for the prevention and correction of sexual harassment.”   

Additionally, the bill establishes a new Career Pathways Program that provides technical skills training for individuals from underserved communities for entry into film and television industry jobs, paid for by participating productions, not by the production incentive. 

“These are skills for good paying jobs that translate into lifetime careers,” she said, adding: “The program keeps families together and ensured there are no long separations while one parent is out filming for months at a time.”

Other provisions include:

  • Awarding tax credits according to a jobs ratio rating system, whereby applications are ranked based upon the number of jobs created in California and other economic factors.
  • Increasing funding for independent films and ensuring smaller independent productions are not competing with larger productions.
  • Offering an additional 5 percent tax credit increase for local hires working outside the Los Angeles 30-mile zone.

Supporters hailed the action, including the head of the Motion Picture Association of America.

“The MPAA and its member companies are grateful to the leadership of the California Legislature for extending the state’s film and television production incentive program,” Charles Rivkin, MPAA chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We are especially grateful for the support of Senator Holly Mitchell and Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon, who authored key legislation, and Gov. Jerry Brown, for signing the bill into law. 

“As the birthplace of American cinema, California has seen a fledgling industry grow into a global economic powerhouse that today supports the livelihoods of more than 715,000 Californians,” Rivkin added. “The enactment of this bill helps ensure that California will be home to many more productions, jobs, and local businesses for years to come.”

Thom Davis, president of the California International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Council, agreed.

“The California IATSE Council and its over 42,000 members in California are deeply grateful to Sen. Holly Mitchell for her leadership and unflinching commitment to keeping film and television production in California,” Davis said. “Her legislation, originally SB 951, is a job creator for our members and the thousands of other craftspeople, technicians, talent and many more in ancillary businesses whose livelihoods depend on motion picture and television production remaining in California. The legislation signed by Gov. Brown today as part of California budget follow-up language, ensures that production will continue to stay in or return to California. We thank Senator Mitchell for protecting our members’ jobs and their ability to remain with their families.”

Gabrielle Carteris, president of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, said the group’s more than 80,000 California members are grateful to Mitchell for her leadership.

“Her legislation will keep our members at work by increasing and sustaining production in this state,” Carteris said. “We are very thankful to Senator Mitchell and also to Gov. Brown for signing this important extension to the California production tax incentive.”  

Daniel Bush of the Director’s Guild praised Brown’s action on behalf of its 17,500 members.

“Along with the governor’s support, we want to specifically recognize the steadfast dedication and commitment of original SB 951 author and champion, Sen. Holly Mitchell,” Bush said. “Her dedication to keeping this legislation moving forward has ensured that California’s entertainment industry will remain an economic and cultural powerhouse. Through the efforts of Sen. Mitchell and others, the leaders of the Golden State have delivered a truly cinematic ending – protecting good jobs for thousands of men and women each year, while nurturing the growth of an industry that entertains and inspires millions around the globe.”

In addition, the California Film & Television Production Alliance put out the following statement:

“We represent small businesses, film commissions, producers, local government officials and, most importantly, thousands of working men and women across the state who, starting in 2014 were able once again to work on motion picture production in California. We thank the bill’s authors, (Assembly) Majority Leader Ian Calderon and Sen. Holly Mitchell, for their commitment and standing steadfastly with us from the beginning.”

Mitchell’s effort was supported by dozens of groups and unions affiliated with the film industry.

For more information, visit Sen. Mitchell’s Web site HERE or at the address below.

Sen. Mitchell is chair of the Senate Budget Committee. A member of the Legislature since 2010, she represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 30, which includes Culver City and much of Los Angeles. More at www.senate.ca.gov/Mitchell