House Bill 1634, which provides incentives for film, television, and multimedia production industries, passed unanimously today on third reading. According to the Texas Film Commission, Texas has lost 29 films, $313 million in direct spending and approximately 4500 jobs to states that offer incentives. This bill has had a long journey through the legislative process already but when it finally made it through the House, it was without a single vote a dissension.
Personally, I think portions of this bill are too lean and I have a concern with one particular provision. However, in all fairness, I haven't compared the incentives to other states so my local government perspective probably means squat. And, even if I'm right, I think at this stage, you have to pick your battles. Better to get this bill on the books and seek an amendment in the next legislative session than to stall any longer.
On to the Senate.
NOTE TO AUSTIN:
Will someone please explain to me how the Legislative Budget Board can report to the Recreation & Tourism Committee that "No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated" in this memo? (which has bad information, by the way - I think the bill was amended after it was written)
Here's the thing. Isn't it BECAUSE we anticipate MONUMENTAL fiscal implications to the State that we even want this? Yeah. Yeah. I know you're talking about budget amendments and funding required to pass the bill but that's not what it looks like to non-government average Joes and filmmakers tracking the bill online. To them, it looks like the bill won't be funded. Besides, form memos feel more like they're reporting about congratulatory resolutions on 100th birthdays than critical legislation.
So, please --
(1) Word internal memos more carefully and consider the public relations implications of taking a cookie cutter approach to reporting on bills (yes, I do know how many you report on)
(2) Take this one off the web. Yeah, it's public record but if anyone wants to see it they can get it in Austin. Take it off. Please. It's not accurate anymore anyway and we look like schmucks.
Oh, and thank you. Thank you very much for the vote today.
HB1634 Legislative History Online
Texas Film Commission