Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and 34 other members of California’s congressional delegation are urging Gov. Jerry Brown to sign legislation that would expand the state’s film and TV incentive program to $400 million in tax credits per year.
The lawmakers who signed the letter to Brown include 34 Democrats and one Republican, Rep. Paul Cook (R-Calif.), whose district covers the desert regions in the eastern part of the state.
“It is imperative that we sensibly expand our program to meet the demand and be nationally competitive,” the lawmakers wrote in an Aug. 13 letter to Brown. “Among the enhancements would be to substantially increase the overall pot allotted, raise the cap that prevents blockbuster films from competing, and allow 1 hour television dramas regardless of distribution outlet to qualify for the credit.”
The complete letter is here.
The legislation, AB 1839, along with providing $400 million per year in credits, would expand eligibility to big budget films and most one-hour dramas. It would extend the program through 2019, and replace a lottery system for awarding tax credits to one where applicants are selected based on their ability to create jobs.
The goal of the letter is to show Brown that the legislation has significant support among the 53-member congressional delegation. He has not said whether he would sign the legislation.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) did not sign the letter along with other Republicans except Cook. Among the Democrats whose names do not appear are Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
Pelosi and Becerra each sent their own letters in support of the legislation.
On Wednesday, union and studio representatives are scheduled to appear in Sacramento at an event at the state capitol, where crews will simulate the production of scenes from “Scandal.” Among those scheduled at the event are actors Carl Weathers and Ron Perlman, as well as the crew of the ABC Family series “Pretty Little Liars.”
Update: Pelosi and Becerra each sent their own letters in support.