As we enter the start of football season, I always look forward to watching a team march down the field with pinpoint passes and well executed running plays to score the winning touchdown with seconds left on the clock. This scenario acts as an effective metaphor for AB 1839 – The Film and Television Tax Credit program which will grow middle class jobs in California.

It’s been a long march down the field this legislative session with Assemblymembers Bocanegra & Gatto quarterbacking our efforts. The Chamber and other organizations have been blocking with precision to move the ball forward.  We effectively outlined the economic benefits and job protection the program will generate. We also clearly detailed the very real negative impacts if California does not take action and allows production jobs to leave for New York, Louisiana, Georgia and other locales. This game plan gained one yard and one vote at a time. 

Last week, with the help of Senator Kevin DeLeon, the bill sponsors were able to gain huge ground, with the State Senate Appropriations committee voting AB 1839 out of committee with a $400 million annual tax credit. This investment is a testament to the importance of saving and growing this iconic industry which has defined the California ethos for a century.

Over the last decade, California has slipped from being the location for two-thirds of all movie and TV productions to one-third of all productions. AB 1839 positions California to recapture and grow those production jobs and other jobs that support productions. From catering, to dry cleaning, financial services, to tailoring, every industry woven into the fabric of our economy has a place in supporting film and TV production.

With this annual allocation, California is poised to add billions of dollars to the State’s economy.  The current program, at $100 million in tax credits per year, has generated $5.39 billion in aggregated spending since 2009, including $1.72 billion in wages. Every movie or television show generates its own local economy that is a small engine for our larger economy.

Business, labor and many other stakeholders teamed up to push this critical legislation to the goal line. We encourage Gov. Brown to sign AB 1839 when it hits his desk. With little time left on the clock before the end of session, the Governor’s signature will positively impact the lives of millions of Californians.