DETROIT (WWJ) - Some in the film industry are sounding off after the Michigan House of Representatives voted to drop the state's $50 million a year incentive program that funds movies, TV and digital productions in the state.
The legislature voted in December to extend the film incentives to 2021, but Republicans have been anxious to end the credits for years. A bill approved 58-51 Wednesday in the House would end the program effective with the new fiscal year Oct. 1.
Although the future of the program is up in the air, Mark Adler, with the Michigan Production Alliance, said workers remain hopeful the state senators will come to the rescue as legislation is now in their hands for consideration.
"We believe that they're going to stand firm for the film industry, and they feel at this time it would be a bad idea to drop it," Adler said.
Opponents of the program feel it just hasn't created enough jobs in the state to be worthwhile, while advocates say it's created good paying jobs and is a model for other states to follow.
Adler said industry job figures are at times flawed.
"Film workers, for example, go from film to film to film and they are not counted as full-time until they earn $64,000," Adler said.
Adler encourages those in the industry to talk to their senators and educate them.
"Explain to them about the benefits of having another industry in Michigan," he said. "Film companies need assurances that they can come there. They're working months out, like 10 months out and they need to know when their film drops into Michigan that the money they've been promised is going to be there."
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