Now that 2ESSB 5539 has passed out of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the bill has been sent to Govenor Gregoire’s office for her signature. The Governor has 20 days to sign the bill. Once signed, it will officially become law 90 days after the end of the 2012 legislative session (early June).
Our leglislative team in Olympia has indicated that it is important for film industry professionals to contact Governor Gregoire’s office to file what are referred to as “letters of opinion” in support of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (2ESSB 5539). The more letters her office receives, the more likely a bill signing ceremony will be scheduled quickly.
In writing to Governor Gregoire, please share your personal story. Explain how this program has impacted your life and the life of your family. Also, feel free to cite some of the economic impact and jobs information we have included below.
- Since launching the program in February 2007, a total of 71 projects have completed principal photography with the help of funding assistance through Washington Filmworks. This resulted in $69.2M of direct spending in our statewide economy, with $31.2M spent on wages and benefits for Washington workers and $38M spent with Washington based businesses that rely on film work to keep their doors open and to employ their full time staff.
- JLARC estimated that each dollar spent in Washington by the film industry yields $1.99 of economic activity in the state and local economies. This means that the $20M of funding assistance committed to productions has generated $137.7M of economic activity (benefits 689% greater than costs).
- During 2007 – 2011 funding recipients provided 4211 jobs to film crews. An additional 681 jobs were created for actors and 4883 jobs were created for extras.
- Washington Filmworks creates immediate jobs for Washington workers. Upon approval for assistance, film projects go into production within 30 days.
- Washington State is the only film incentive program in the country that requires a production to provide health care and retirement benefits for local workers.