Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles.

Washington Filmworks recently hosted two Town Hall meetings in Seattle and Spokane to address important legislative and political matters. If you were unable to attend one of the events, here are the highlights.

Advocacy Committee

James Keblas, Lance Rosen, and Amy Lillard worked over the summer months to meet with legislators, the Department of Commerce, and the Governor’s office to talk about the success of the production incentive and discuss the feasibility of more funding for the program.

There continues to be overwhelming support for the statewide industry, but many that they spoke with cited concerns about the upcoming budget negotiation.

Overview of the 2015 Legislative Session

At the Seattle Town Hall Senator Kohl-Welles did an excellent job of summarizing the budget realities, including an estimated $900 million budget shortfall and the McClearly decision, the state supreme court mandate to fund K – 12 education. She also reminded attendees that state employees have not seen a salary increase in six years and there is a strong desire to change that in the upcoming budget negotiation.

Labor Support

Despite these realities, unions that represent the film industry believe now is the time to pursue additional funding for the standard incentive program.

Union leadership suggest that it has been our most successful year ever, with union members returning to Washington State for work  and new members joining at a rapid rate. They also suggest that the industry’s hard work has paid off and that there is a tremendous amount of interest in shooting in Washington State. The union leadership continues to talk to elected officials about the feasibility of additional funding for the program.

Call to Action

This is a call to action – because we anticipate legislative action, please use the Washington State Legislature Finder to find your legislative district.

Then, please fill out this survey to let us know your district so that you can get represented and your voice heard.

In 2012, the Washington State Redistricting Commission drew new boundaries for legislative districts. It’s quite possible that your legislative district has changed. Please take a moment and identify your legislative district and let us know your district number so that we can keep you updated about your legislator’s support (or not) of Washington’s statewide film industry. Our goal is to identify film industry professionals in every district of Washington State. Know your legislator, know your district and make sure that your voice is heard!

Stay tuned for our Legislature Awareness Campaign launching soon that will keep you in the know about significant legislative updates and ways that you can be involved.

James Keblas and Lance Rosen of the Advocacy Committee.

James Keblas and Lance Rosen of the Advocacy Committee.