SB 5539, the bill to renew the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program, was voted out of the House Committee on Community & Economic Development & Housing this Monday with a vote of 8 to 1. Representative Sharon Santos (D-Seattle, 37th District) was the single “no” vote. We are working with Rep. Santos to address her concerns with the legislation and hope to have her support when the bill comes to the House floor.

SB 5539 will now be referred to the House Ways & Means Committee, which is chaired by Representative Ross Hunter (D-Medina, 48th District).  We will likely have a hearing scheduled this week.  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 in the House Ways & Means last year, down to 1.75 million. The Senate again recommended the 3.5 million dollar annual cap for 2012.

We need your help to encourage those who support the film industry to write their Representatives, urging them to renew the program.  It is especially important that members of the Ways & Means Committee hear from constituents in their districts.  Ask members to maintain the bill at the present annual cap of 3.5 million dollars, and to move  SB 5539 to the House floor for a full vote with no additional amendments.  Click here for a full list of members on this committee, or see below.

House Ways & Means Committee Members

Representative Legislative District Phone
Hunter, Ross (D) Chair 48 (360) 786-7936
Darneille, Jeannie (D) Vice Chair 27 (360) 786-7974
Hasegawa, Bob (D) Vice Chair 11 (360) 786-7862
Alexander, Gary (R) 20 (360) 786-7990
Bailey, Barbara (R) 10 (360) 786-7914
Dammeier, Bruce (R) 25 (360) 786-7948
Orcutt, Ed (R) 18 (360) 786-7812
Carlyle, Reuven (D) 36 (360) 786-7814
Chandler, Bruce (R) 15 (360) 786-7960
Cody, Eileen (D) 34 (360) 786-7978
Dickerson, Mary Lou (D) 36 (360) 786-7860
Haigh, Kathy (D) 35 (360) 786-7966
Haler, Larry (R) 8 (360) 786-7986
Hinkle, Bill (R) 13 (360) 786-7808
Hudgins, Zack (D) 11 (360) 786-7956
Hunt, Sam (D) 22 (360) 786-7992
Kagi, Ruth (D) 32 (360) 786-7910
Kenney, Phyllis Gutierrez (D) 46 (360) 786-7818
Ormsby, Timm (D) 3 (360) 786-7946
Parker, Kevin (R) 6 (360) 786-7922
Pettigrew, Eric (D) 37 (360) 786-7838
Ross, Charles (R) 14 (360) 786-7856
Schmick, Joe (R) 9 (360) 786-7844
Seaquist, Larry (D) 26 (360) 786-7802
Springer, Larry (D) 45 (360) 786-7822
Sullivan, Pat (D) 47 (360) 786-7858
Wilcox, J.T. (R) 2 (360) 786-7912

Our friends at IndieClub have designed a wonderful online resource to make writing Representatives fast and efficient.

Constituents can go the website, identify their legislators and send a letter with three clicks of their mouse.  As always, we encourage you to personalize your letters and tell your representatives how this program has impacted your life.

This is a critical week for the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program. We encourage the film industry to remain involved.  Please remind your community to check in regularly for the most up to date information about the status of the bill.

Thanks for your continued support!