Incentive Program receives funding for 2012-2013 budget cycle
In what was a very challenging legislative session, we emerged with $30 million in funding for the next budget cycle for the Texas Moving Image Incentive Program. Our funding is included in HB 1, the state budget that was passed by the Texas Legislature on Memorial Day. An additional $2 million is included in the budget for the Governor's Trusteed programs for film and music to cover administration and marketing. This is a tremendous victory since it is an increase of $20 million from the original $10 million dedicated to the program when the budget was filed in January. At one point during the legislative process the Texas Senate removed all funding for the program.
The Governor called a special session that began May 31st to address several key bills related to funding the budget that died at the end of the regular session. It is widely expected that other issues may be added to the special session agenda, including congressional redistricting, but the moving image incentive program is not expected to be impacted.
This was a very difficult budget year for the Texas legislature, with school districts and health care programs facing onerous reductions in funding. TXMPA representatives worked hard to make sure the legislature recognized the significance of the moving image incentive program to the state's economy. Key to the success this session was the involvement of TXMPA membership. Members throughout the state met and contacted their legislators about the personal impact of the program and what it means to film, television, video game, commercial and other production in Texas. Thank you. Your efforts paid off.
Our mission doesn't end with the inclusion of program funding in HB 1. It takes a year-round effort to make sure the message of the importance of our industry to Texas is heard. TXMPA will continue to work with the legislature, the Governor's office, and the Texas Film Commission during the special session and the interim to ensure the ongoing success for the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and our industry at large. As TXMPA matures to better handle this task, we need all industry members to stay involved. Please mark July 23rd on your calendars and plan to attend the TXMPA annual meeting that will be held in Houston this year. Keep an eye out for further announcements on meeting details and on this year's election of representatives to the board.
Again, thank you for all of your efforts and support that kept our incentive program alive and put us in the position to build it in the future.
Please visit the Texas Motion Picture Alliance for info on how you can get involved: www.txmpa.org