With entertainment industry pros calling for a boycott of Georgia to protest its new draconian voter law, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Friday that he’s hoping to lure productions to the Golden State by adding $30 million to its film and television tax incentive program. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the extra cash will come out of the state’s $75 billion surplus bonanza as part of Newsom’s $100 Billion “California Roars Back” initiative.
And it’s not just Georgian productions Newsom wants to entice with the dough, since there are at least 43 states trying to push through voter suppression legislation.
“This is an opportunity for those productions, TV and others, in places like Georgia, whose values don’t necessarily always align with the production crews to consider coming back to the state of California,” Newsom said at a press conference today in Sacramento. “And that’s what that $30 million intends to do.”
The new infusion of funds will add nearly 10 percent to California’s existing $330 million tax incentive program for a total of $360 million that the film commission will pay out to qualifying shows and movies throughout the year.
The money will be given to productions that apply based on a ranking system according to how many jobs each applicant is expected to created. The system went into effect in 2015, when it replaced a program in which beneficiaries were selected at random in a lottery. The last such lottery was held in L.A. on April 1 of that year.
As THR notes, the tax-dollars-for-jobs program has been successful enough that it’s snatched 23 television programs and movies from other states since its inception. The latest of these are HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant, a refugee from New York, and TBS’s Chad, which fled here from British Columbia, bringing the total number of series that relocated to California from N.Y. and B.C. to seven so far.
In recent days, Newsom has announced a number of high-dollar initiatives, including an additional $12 billion for homeless housing, $2 billion to combat wildfires, and $95 million for tourism.