This year we wanted to pull back the political curtain and give our community a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes in Olympia. While it may sometimes seem like there’s not a lot of activity on our bills, there’s actually lots (and lots) of activity happening in district and at the state Capitol. Read on to get an insiders look at how we worked together this month to KEEP FILM IN WA!
Senate and House Bills
The week of January 23rd, the Keep Film in WA campaign announced House Bill 1527 and Senate Bill 5502, prime sponsored by Representative Marcus Riccelli (3, D) and Senator Randi Becker (R, 2), respectively. Both bills maintain the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP) at its current level of $3.5 million per calendar year with a sunset date of July 1, 2027. The bill also allows for a one-time allocation of up to $3 million for a major motion picture production with a total budget of at least $20 million that portrays a significant historical event in Washington.
Hearing in House Finance Committee
After HB 1527 was introduced a hearing in the House Finance Committee was immediately scheduled on Friday, January 27. An extraordinary group of 8 people that work in and work for the statewide industry testified in support of the bill. We want to thank the 30 people that responded to our call to action and attended the hearing in Olympia. We give a special shout-out to the dozen people who boarded a bus and left Spokane at 1am the night before to make it in time for the hearing.
You can view the testimony on TVW here starting at 52:31.
VR Work Session in Olympia
There are so many reasons why renewing the MPCP is important, not the least of which is that Washington Filmworks (WF) is thinking about how to keep the film industry working today and in the future. On January 10, WF curated a panel of leaders from the VR and AR community to talk with the members of the Technology and Economic Development Committee about the future of film in Washington State. Panelists spoke at length about Washington’s unique storytelling and tech assets that can be leveraged to not only reinvent entertainment content but also change the way that companies do business in the global market place.
Town Hall Event in the 36th Legislative District
As we like to say at the Keep Film in WA headquarters, all politics are local! Elected officials care about what their constituents have to say and we were so glad to see that more than a dozen film professionals that live in the 36th legislative district responded to our call to action and attended the in-district Town Hall event on Sunday, January 29. The green shirts and Keep Film in WA buttons were hard to miss and despite the heavy-hitting topics of federal immigration bans and education funding, Representative Noel Frame did acknowledge the group in attendance. Thanks to those that came and if you hear of an in-district town hall event in your area let us know by emailing us at [email protected]
Association of Washington Business Legislative Day and Hill Climb
Amy Lillard and Julie Daman from WF attended their first AWB Hill Climb in Olympia on Tuesday, January 17. This event brings together business leaders, legislators and special guests with one message – to keep businesses’ priorities top-of-mind with elected officials. In addition to a full day of content, the Hill Climb gives attendees the opportunity to take their issues and concerns directly to their legislators on the Capitol Campus. While on the Hill, Amy and Julie had a chance to reconnect with Representative Macri (D, 43) to reiterate the importance of the legislation to renew the MPCP.
Our friends at the AWB created a highlight reel from the event and you can check it out here.
Coming Up in February
- Art & Heritage Day in Olympia (February 8, 2017)
- Senate Hearing on SB 5502
- Save the Date For Film Day (March 13, 2017)