California’s film and television tax credits would be extended five more years if the State Assembly has its way, after a bill that would add an extra $500 million to the program was approved today by a 72-1 vote. The state Senate will vote on the legislation, enacted in 2009 to slow runaway production, later in the summer. “What we’re doing with this bill is retaining and creating jobs by leveling the playing field and making California competitive again,” bill co-sponsor Felipe Fuentes told the LA Times. An additional $100 million is set to be allocated for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the Times said, but of course that’s if a new state budget is passed by then — Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed cuts are massive and could steamroll any proposed credit program; they also have generated serious pushback from both sides of the aisle. Also, a state budget has been signed into law only five times in two decades, according to Reuters, so who knows how long this could take. The California Film Commission, which administers the program, said that since the incentive was signed into law, its projects are responsible for $2.2 billion in direct spending within the state, including $756 million in wages paid to below-the-line crew.
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