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California’s Proposal to Lure Shoots From Anti-Abortion States Advances

A proposed California tax credit to attract productions that leave a state that’s implementing fetal heartbeat anti-abortion legislation has cleared a key hurdle in the State Senate.

The bill, which would cover five years with a $50 million annual allocation, was approved by Senate Governance and Finance Committee and is now headed to the Fiscal Senate Appropriations Committee.

Los Angeles Assembly member Luz Rivas authored Assembly Bill 1442, which has been dubbed the “Share Our Values” bill. Georgia is among the states that has approved anti-abortion legislation, which goes into effect next year if it survives a court challenge. Disney and Netflix have threatened to stop producing in Georgia if that happens.

“In California, we believe women are valued and have a basic moral right to control their own body,” said Rivas. “The same states that have systematically lured film productions from California are continuing their historical assaults on women’s rights. As these attacks on women take place, AB 1442 provides the film industry an opportunity to stand with women and share our values while bringing critical jobs back to the state.”

California’s production tax credit program has a current annual allocation of $330 million — which was tripled in size in 2014 to compete effectively with New York and Georgia, then extended a year ago to 2025 with a credit of up to 25% of qualified expenditures spent in California.

Feature films covered under the program have included “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Captain Marvel,” “Bumblebee,” “Space Jam 2” and “Sherlock Holmes 3.” Earlier this year, Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” became the 16th television series to relocate to California, joining “Good Girls,” “You,” “Sneaky Pete,” “Legion,” “Ballers” and “Veep.” The state ditched the lottery approach several years ago and selects projects based on a jobs-creation formula.

Citing studies, Rivas said a $250 million investment in approved productions would generate nearly $1.9 billion of direct in-state spending, $7 million in qualified wages, $600 million in qualified vendor expenditures, and the hiring of more than 6,000 cast and 9,000 crew members. The California Film Commission administers the program.

“AB 1442 brings back middle-class jobs to California,” Rivas said. “It reinforces that California values women and it helps keep children living with their parents 12 months out of the year, ensuring there are no more long separations while parents have to go to other states for work.”

The initial legislation proposed by Rivas called for an annual $100 million allocation.

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