The House pulled an all-nighter, debating budget bills until midnight and the death penalty until dawn and not adjourning until 6:00 a.m., so this nightly update is coming to you the morning after.
But first — did you see our guest column in Wednesday’s Albuquerque Journal? Titled “State confirms film incentive benefits, again,” and written by our own executive director Joyce Smith, the piece reviews the findings of the independent consulting firm hired by the Martinez administration to get to the “true story” of the impacts of the film incentive. Check it out here: https://www.abqjournal.com/860081/state-confirms-film-incentives-benefits-again.html
Meanwhile, today (yesterday?) was a long day of budget wrangling in the House, with long sessions on the floor separated by even longer caucuses by both parties. The Senate returns at 11:30 this morning to take up the amended budget bills, and the House will be back in session today as well.
While there was no discussion of HB15 today, and no indication that it will be heard on the floor of the House Thursday either, this isn’t over by a long shot and we must remain vigilant.
The key take away from the last 24 hours may be this: the budget proposals under consideration do not completely fix the budget hole for the current budget year (FY 2017), which means the legislature will have more work to do during the regular session starting in January — so even if we get out of the special session unscathed, we still have a lot more work ahead of us.
Thanks to our members who have been on the phones and calling members of the House to let them know in no uncertain terms why we oppose HB15. It’s definitely having an effect, and we encourage you to continue the calls today and tomorrow.
Below is a repeat of the information in our last update for calling the Speaker of the House, House Majority Leader, and other House Republicans. If you’ve already called, pass this newsletter along to friends, family and colleagues and ask them to call too. And for more information on the film industry in New Mexico, visit our website at www.fbanm.com
CALLING YOUR LEGISLATORS TO OPPOSE HB15
When you call, please be calm and respectful. Tell them your personal connection to the film industry, what business you’re in, how you’ve invested and hired people and grown a career and a family, and tell them that is why you oppose HB15.
If you like, you might tell them a few other things as well, such as:
* The Film Incentive Pays for Itself. According to the third phase of the independent study of the film industry commissioned by the Martinez administration, Film Induced Tourism generates $54.4 million in state and local tax revenues, more than paying back the state’s $50 million annual investment. See our guest editorial in Wednesday’s Albuquerque Journal for more information.
* The Film Industry Creates Jobs. The story of your job is the most important thing to tell them about, but Phase 1 of the independent study found more than 15,878 jobs – and over $1.5 Billion in economic impact.
* $1.2 Billion in Targeted Tax Incentives. Most people don’t know that New Mexico law contains hundreds and hundreds of targeted tax incentives costing the state an estimated $1.2 Billion a year, of which the film incentive is only a small $50 million piece. Unlike film, many of those other programs are uncapped. Why aren’t we taking a comprehensive look at ALL of the tax incentives in the state’s so-called Tax Expenditure Budget? How about fixing the High Wage Job Tax Credit, which has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars in claims from companies in industries that the credit was not originally intended for (such as, ironically, some oil companies in the districts represented by the proponents of this bill)?
* Check out our website at fbanm.com for more information.
In case you’ve missed our previous updates (click http://www.fbanm.com/2016-legislative-updates/ to read them all), HB15 was introduced by four Republican representatives to make a temporary, one-year reduction in the film incentive program cap from $50M per year to $30M per year.
The bill was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday on a party-line, 7-5 vote, after four hours of testimony in which a number of film industry representatives spoke eloquently in opposition to this destructive bill.
Want to help? Call House Speaker Don Tripp at (575) 835-2465, House Majority Leader Nate Gentry at (505) 508-0782, and some of the individuals below, especially if you live in their district:
Sarah Maestas Barnes (R-ABQ): (505) 847-6391
Paul Pacheco (R-ABQ): 505-263-9235
Jim Smith (R-Bernalillo): 505-934-1075
Monica Youngblood (R-ABQ): 505-342-6250
Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho): 505-554-7970
Tim Lewis: 505-986-4252
Larry Larranaga (R – ABQ): 505-986-4320
JIm Dines (R – ABQ): 505-400-8316
IF YOU LIVE IN LAS LUNAS OR DONA ANA, PLEASE CALL:
Alonzo Baldonado (Valencia – Las Lunas): 505-363-6214
Kelly Fajardo (Valencia – Las Lunas): 505-573-0471
Terry McMillan (Dona Ana): 575-635-0534
Rick Little (Dona Ana): (505) 986-4782
We will follow up tomorrow with further action steps our members can take, including further emails and phone calls, and instructions for turning out later in the week if you can make it up to the Roundhouse.
For more information on the film industry in New Mexico, visit our website at www.fbanm.com