Film Florida, an entertainment production association that provides a leadership role in Florida’s film, TV & digital media industry, has written Florida Governor Rick Scott, Senate President Andy Gardiner, and Speaker of the House Steve Crisafulli, requesting to be added to the upcoming Special Session agenda. The film industry had been promoting dual media incentive bills that would provide tax exemptions for businesses that came to Florida for their productions. The aim was to keep industry talent that graduated from film and media programs in the state from leaving, and to grow non-entertainment businesses that offer support services to the entertainment industry.
Below is a copy of the letter…
Dear Governor Scott, President Gardiner and Speaker Crisafulli,
We understand how difficult this time is for you and all of our Florida legislators. You are facing tough decisions and have many issues in front of you. As we approach special session, we ask that you please consider including the film, TV and digital media investment program language from the Senate’s Economic Development Package (SB 1214) as part of the call for the special session. This language has addressed all of the concerns of both the House and Senate. To date, the program has received overwhelming support from all of the committees in both the House and Senate.
Our film, TV and digital media program has come so far this year due to the extensive efforts of our Board, 40+ Florida film commissions, industry partners, crew, business owners, associations, educators, film students and our champions Senator Detert and Representative Miller. We are dedicated to work with you on this important piece of legislation that affects more than 16,000 film & digital media production related companies, more than 100,000 Floridians working in the industry, and thousands of new graduates trying to secure their first job here in this great state.
Industry leaders have been committed to working with our legislators to develop a balanced program that will enhance the positive return on the state’s investment, proving long term credibility and worth. We have heard our legislators loud and clear and as a result substantial changes were made to the program that will help create more jobs, encourage economic and tourism growth, establish better accountability benchmarks and ultimately strengthen and diversify Florida’s economy now and into the future.
We remain confident that you understand this business and the number of jobs it affects. Please support Florida’s Entertainment Industry now and into the future.
The group has also launched an on-line petition that has gathered close to 1000 signatures.
The special session that is scheduled from June 1st to the 20th, is set to revolve around the battle over Medicaid expansion, which has led in to the recent budget impasse between the House and the Senate. The early Sine Die in the house 3 days before their projected adjournment, has led to many bills dying or being left up in the air with an uncertain future.