Legislative update – May 14, 2015-
I wish there was better news to report….
The 2015 Missouri Legislative Session is set to adjourn as of 6pm on Friday, May 15th. There were over 1400 bills and resolutions introduced in the House this session, and 600 in the Senate. Unfortunately, this will be the third year that the Film Incentive program will not be renewed. (It ended in Nov. 2013.)
In order for this program to be re-instated, a bill must go through the legislative process of committee hearings, be voted on and passed each by the Missouri House and Senate, and then signed by the Governor. While we had success on the House side, we had little luck in the Senate. Although we identified a strong Senate bill sponsor, we were unable to advance the bill through Senate committee.
This year we supported HB 803 (Rep. Kathy Swan – R- Cape Girardeau), which was voted out of two committees, and placed on the House Calendar where it could have been brought to the floor for debate or consideration.
Unfortunately, after we were on the House Calendar, we learned we did not have key Senate support. Without this support, even if HB 803 was considered and passed by the House, it would not pass in the Senate. We did take action to gain Senate support, but ultimately there were too many obstacles and other priorities for legislators for HB 803 to progress, including a demand that we restructure the entire program.
On the Senate side, SB 541 (Sen. David Pearce) was referred to the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Eric Schmitt (R- Glendale) in March. The chairman never scheduled a hearing for this bill. This was a contributing factor to our problems in the Senate with HB 803.
MOMMA board members will work this summer and fall to meet with key Senators regarding our mission. It will be very important to push for earlier Senate and House hearings in 2016. We cannot get this program renewed without House AND Senate support, and then if we achieve that – it still has to be signed into law by the Governor.
Not one scripted studio feature film has shot in our state since the film incentive program ended in November 2013. Gone Girl finished their Missouri filming prior to the program’s end. Scripted movies and /or television shows with Missouri settings may still land in our state, but instead of staying for multiple weeks or months, they will only bring their business here for 3-5 days to film exteriors. They will film their interior scenes and set up their production base in one of 38 other states that have incentive programs. Our state is a great disadvantage to compete for this type of new business.
We will try again next year, and I hope you will continue to join and support our efforts. If you have any questions, please contact me at my email listed below.
Legislative Update – April 17, 2015
HB 803 was voted out of the House Economic Development and Business Attraction and Retention Committee, and moved on to the Select Economic House Committee where it was also voted to move on for possible House Floor Hearing. We are now waiting on a date for a House Floor Hearing! Could be as early as the week of April 20th 2015 – We will keep you updated.
Legislative Update, March 26, 2015
The Missouri Legislature started spring break on March 20th, and will return on Monday March 30th.
UPDATE HB 803
The House Economic Development and Business Attraction and Retention Committee held a hearing on Tuesday, March 17th on HB 803.
Overall, those of us who attended feel it was a positive hearing.
Rep. Kathy Swan (R-Cape Girardeau) presented HB 803 to the committee. Testimony in support of HB 803 was presented by Joni Tackette (MOMMA Pres.), Stephane Scupham (KC Film & Digital Media office), Rick Cowan (Producer KC), Gordan Hayman (IATSE 493 Rep.).
The day before the hearing, Missouri Teamster member Danny Cowden and Stephane Scupham also visited with committee members.
MOMMA board members pulled together over 20 letters from key organizations around the state in support of the bill. Organizations and individuals sending letters included:
Kansas City CVC
Kansas City Mayor’s Office
St. Louis CVC
Cape Girardeau CVC
Cape Girardeau Mayor’s office
Jefferson City CVC
Branson Mayor’s office
KC Film Commission of Greater KC
KC Film Fest
Mark Biggs, Assoc. Dean, College of Arts & Letters – MSU
Some additional letters in support were written by filmmakers that stated Missouri has the elements they need for their productions but no incentive, projects / production companies that would like to keep their production in Missouri but have to go elsewhere because we have no incentive, and from businesses in the Cape Girardeau area that benefited from the additional economic impact of Gone Girl.
Legislative Update, March, 2015
TWO bills have been filed to re-instate the Film / Production Incentive!
What is the path for one of these bills to make it through the legislature and be signed by Governor?
Here’s the answer from our Government Consultant – Jeff Brooks, of Gamble & Schlemeier.
Step one: A Representative and/or a Senator files the bill (HB 803 (Swan) and SB 541 (Pearce)). In the House, the Speaker of the House, Rep. John Diehl (R – Town & Country) refers the bill to a House standing committee, hopefully in a timely manner. In our case, it will likely be the House Economic Development and Business Attraction and Retention Committee, Chaired by Representative Caleb Rowden (R-Columbia). In the Senate, the bill will likely go to the Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government Committee, Chaired by Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Kirkwood).
Step two: The bill sponsors request a public hearing in each committee. Hearings are not guaranteed, in fact, a very large number of bills never get a public hearing. After a public hearing is completed on a certain bill, the bill may or may not receive a positive vote in Executive Session. If a bill does get voted “Do Pass” out of a committee, the Chairman usually allows the bill to advance to the next step but this is not guaranteed. Starting this year in the House, a second Select Committee of Commerce (Zerr R-St. Charles) is required to hear and vote on the bill.
Step three: If a bill receives a positive vote out of all necessary committees, then the Speaker of the House or the President of the Senate will hopefully place the bill on the floor “calendar” in a timely manner. Then the Majority Floor Leaders of each chamber, Rep. Todd Richardson (R- Poplar Bluff) and Senator Ron Richard (R-Joplin), may allow the bill to receive a hearing on the House and Senate floors, respectfully. This is when all Representatives, or all Senators, get to discuss, and hopefully vote on selected bills. Two separate positive votes on two separate days are required in each chamber. Such votes are not guaranteed, especially in the Senate. Many, many bills are brought up but never make it to an actual vote, or are voted down.
Step four: Once a certain bill successfully advances out of its original legislative chamber, the long, complex committee and floor process is repeated in the next chamber. If the bill survives the second chamber but was amended or changed in any way, it then goes back to the original chamber for another vote on the changes. Then the bill can be voted “Do Pass,” voted down, or sent to “conference” where several appointed Senators and House members try to work out their differences. If the House members and Senators assigned to the conference committee can work out any such differences, then the amended bill (conference committee report) goes back to each chamber for a final vote.
*Note that at each stage of this process, a bill can be amended or changed completely.
Step five: If a bill is successfully passed in both the House and Senate, it still needs the approval of the Governor. The Governor can approve or “veto” the bill. If the bill gets vetoed, then its last and only chance is for both the House and Senate to override the Governor’s veto with a two-third’s vote.
MISSOURI (HB 803) & (SB 541)
Both bills propose to reinstate the film production incentive program in Missouri for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2015. Highlights of the program are as follows:
HB 803 Establishes a transferable tax credit equal to 20% of qualifying in-state spend, 20% or 10% of compensation for each resident or nonresident, respectively if: their compensation is $250k or less, and Missouri state withholding payments are remitted to the department of revenue, plus 5% if at least 50% of the production is filmed in Missouri.
Establishes a funding cap of $4.5 million per calendar year but no limit on the tax credit that may be earned by a project.
Requires a minimum spend of more than $50k for productions that are less than thirty minutes in duration, and more than $100k for productions that are more than thirty minutes in duration.
Requires a logo or screen credit acknowledging that the project was filmed in Missouri and establishes a sunset date of Nov. 27, 2021.
SB 541 establishes the same criteria listed above as HB 803, the only difference is Missouri spend, Missouri resident and nonresident crew all qualify at 20%.
Legislative Update, Jan. 2015
MOMMA has retained the services of Jeff Brooks of Gamble Schlemeier to represent the industry’s interest during the 2015 legislative session. We are hopeful that legislation will be introduced to re-instate the Production / Film Tax Incentive by Rep. Kathryn Swan of Cape Girardeau, and we will support those efforts.
Legislative Update, Jan. 2013
By Mary Anne McCollum, Vice-President, and Chair – Legislative Committee
The 97th General Assembly convened Wednesday, January 9, 2013, with the swearing in of House and Senate members. Tim Jones (R-Eureka) was elected Speaker of the House and Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) was elected Senate President pro tempore. Both Houses have veto proof majorities.
Committee chairs and members have been announced, and several committees have already begun holding organizational meetings. Senator Kurt Schaefer, a member of the MO Film Commission, will continue to chair the Senate Appropriations Committee. Another Film Commission member, State Representative Denny Hoskins (R-54), will chair the House Appropriations Revenue, Transportation and Economic Development Committee.
Statewide officials were sworn into office Monday, January 14. Governor Jay Nixon is scheduled to deliver his State of the State/Budget address January 28 @ 7 p.m. If any money is recommended for the film office, it will be under the proposed tourism budget in the Department of Economic Development.
Beginning January 1, MOMMA retained the services of Jeff Brooks with the firm of Gamble and Schlemeier, to represent our interests before members of the General
Assembly. Stay tuned – in the coming weeks we will be providing updates from our lobbyist and asking for your help as legislators begin the process of hearing bills.