We pulled through with a 4-2 favorable decision on SB 1606 at the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism meeting this morning. After being postponed by this committee two weeks ago and now – with Committee Chair Bill Montford traveling in South Florida and Senator Kathleen Passidomo attending to her own important legislation in another committee – once again missing two probable “yes” votes, bill introducer Senator Annette Taddeo stepped forward with a forceful presentation, several amendments designed to resolve earlier concerns, and good answers to committee members’ questions. This was decidedly a hard-fought win.
During public comment, a representative from Americans for Prosperity tendered their fail-safe objection to any private business receiving “tax-payer funded advantages over other businesses” and also claimed that there is no evidence that this program would work. An interesting exchange followed when Senator Audrey Gibson, co-introducer of SB 1606, questioned whether AFP had evidence that the program wouldn’t work, prompting a response that research shows how state involvement in boosting a particular industry, “especially with film,” doesn’t produce significant economic growth. This is certainly an interesting proposition in light of the massive boost and major economic impact enjoyed by the Georgia film industry over the past five-plus years.
Senator Taddeo’s presentation of the bill begins here at the 6:55 mark. Along with a 6-0 vote in the same committee to pass our public records bill, SB 1604, it remains to be seen whether these small wins can take us any further this legislative session. But small wins compound, especially when the name of the game is persistence.