Hello to you all –

It’s been a busy week in Olympia. As you likely know, SB 5539, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, was voted out of the Senate on Tuesday, February 14. On Thursday, February 16, there was a hearing on the bill in the House Committee on Community & Economic Development & Housing, chaired by Representative Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (D – 46th District). If you’d like to follow along with our testimony, you can watch it on TVW. SB 5539 is addressed from 52:56 – 1:10:29.

This testimony was a good practice run for the House Ways & Means Committee hearing, which we expect will be scheduled very soon. As a reminder, the Ways & Means Committee is where the bill’s funding was cut in half in 2011. The Senate recommended a 3.5 million dollar investment in Washington workers and Washington businesses, however the annual cap was reduced by the House Ways & Means last year, down to 1.75 million. The Senate recommended the 3.5 million dollar annual cap again for 2012. We shall see how things proceed in the House.

This year’s Senate vote inspired a lot of positive press breaks on the program. We’ve included several of them below. The session is scheduled to end March 8 and we anticipate the bill will continue to move quickly. There is really no time to wait. We encourage you to share this week’s progress with your community and write your Representatives today.

Keep up the hard work.  You are making a difference.

Amy Lillard

Washington Filmworks Executive Director