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SCV delegation hears about film tax credit plan

Posted: March 18, 2014 11:57 a.m.
Updated: March 18, 2014 11:57 a.m.

Legislative plans to beef up the state's film tax credit program are under way, according to a legislator who spoke this morning to a delegation of Santa Clarita Valley residents visiting Sacramento.

Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, said the program will take about six or seven months to make its way through the legislative process.

The program includes lifting the cap on eligible productions from $75 million, making one-hour TV series eligible for the credits and extending the program for five years rather than being renewed on an annual basis.

Bocanegra said he and other backers of the bill have not put a total cost on it yet and are waiting for the governor's May revision of the budget before they do so.

The bill is expected to help stem the tide of runaway production to other states such as Lousiana and Georgia.

The Pacoima Democrat said he expects support in the Assembly for the bill, but success in the Senate is less likely.

Other state officials speaking to the delegation today included Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point.

Harkey, who is a budget expert in the Legislature, said she was optimistic about the economic prospects of the state.

"We are digging out little by little," Harkey said.

She said the state budget is balanced, long-term debt is stable and revenues are up. But the state's unemployment rate of 8.3 percent is still too high, she added.

In another session with the delegation, Brian McMahon, undersecretary at the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, was questioned by delegation members concerning workers' compensation rates, which they claimed have risen sharply despite state reforms.

Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, who is leading the delegation, said his office would help bring workers' compensation concerns of Santa Clarita businesses formally to McMahon's agency.

Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, also spoke to the delegation about the state's upcoming water bond.

Other issues the Santa Clarita Valley delegation will take up today in meetings with other state officials include higher education, Prop. 13 and chloride.

The delegation's trip to Sacramento is an annual trip put together by KHTS-1220 AM and Wilk.



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