It’s over. The House and Senate quickly passed a budget compromise and wrapped up the special session Thursday, with both houses adjourning “Sine Die” in legislative parlance or “without a day” to return.
HB15, the misguided bill to reduce the state’s film program, was never heard on the House floor, and no suggestion of cutting film ever came up during the discussions of the budget compromise.
Thanks again to all the Alliance Members who were a big part of this important victory for the film industry. Your phone calls to representatives of the House helped us to ensure that HB15 did not move forward to the floor of the House. Legislators heard the message loud and clear that the film business is important to New Mexico!
But let us remember that the New Mexico is facing a severe projected budget shortfall of $458 million in the current fiscal year, and according to the Albuquerque Journal today, the final budget package, a mix of spending cuts and one-time fixes, will generate an estimated $370.8 million in savings, assuming the governor signs all seven of the bills that the legislature has sent to her desk. So the next legislature, which convenes in January, will still have a great deal of work to do.
And that means that we, the Film Business Alliance of New Mexico, will have to remain vigilant if the film incentive program is to continue to bring its critical job creation to New Mexico.
We will continue to do everything we can to educate both the public and our elected officials on the full spectrum of benefits of the film industry on the economy, the small businesses and the families of New Mexico. A big part of that effort will be the publication of the 2017 New Mexico Film and Television Sourcebook, so be on the look-out in the next few weeks for your opportunity to be a part of this important effort.
We’re also continuing to get our message out to the local media. Hopefully you’ve already seen 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 reports on 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
The Alliance was also featured in a news article in Thursday morning’s ABQ Business First, entitled “Why the proposed film incentive cut makes local businesses nervous,” with quotes from Alliance executive director Joyce Smith and Alliance member Sandy Levinson. Check it out here: http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2016/10/06/why-the-proposed-film-incentive-cut-makes.html
More information on our efforts leading into the 2017 legislative session will be coming your way soon. In the meantime, for more information on the film industry in New Mexico, visit our website at www.fbanm.com