California State Senate leader Kevin de Léon on Thursday blasted President Donald Trump’s policies, pledged to tackle housing costs, and support the film industry in a wide-ranging State of the State address to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Speaking at the third annual luncheon on the Paramount Pictures lot, De Léon, a Los Angeles Democrat, said he and other California political leaders are positioning the state as a champion of clean energy, even if Trump’s administration has pulled out of the Paris climate accord.
“We’re not going to allow one election to reverse our progress,” De Léon said, detailing how California leaders are forging ahead with their plans to reduce carbon emissions.
He said that while California was not a state when the country was founded, “We are clearly now the keeper of its future.”
De Léon was a sponsor of legislation in 2014 that approved film tax credits to retain film and television production in California.
“We made an aggressive statement that we want California to remain the entertainment capital of the world,” he said, adding that “it’s paying off.”
In its first year, the program awarded $234 million in tax credits to 55 projects, including eight films, he said. That resulted in $1.5 billion in direct in-state spending, including $600 million in wages.
The tax credits, he said, helped the Los Angeles area become the filming location for “Veep” (from Maryland).
“These are real jobs we are bringing back from places like Vancouver and New York,” he said.
Sponsored by Paramount Pictures and Variety, the event drew local political leaders, Hollywood businesses, as well as Marc Evans, president of Paramount’s Motion Picture Group.