While we wait to see whether SB 526 continues its advance in the Senate and HB 1401 will be granted committee referrals and appearances in the House – hopeful that these good bills can buck the obstructionist trend of previous sessions – suddenly another legislative strategem is making a blip on Tallahassee’s radar.
Senate Bill 1808 is on the calendar for consideration by the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism this coming Monday afternoon. COMPASS-crafted and introduced by Senator Annette Taddeo (D-40, Miami Dade), SB 1808 is not a bill but rather a legislative resolution and, as such, has no force of law. Its intentions are threefold: to give Florida legislators an opportunity to recognize publicly the value of film and television production to our state’s economy, to provide additional momentum to state-level legislation such as SB 426/HB 1401 as well as to private programs and partnerships designed to promote film and television production in the Sunshine State, and to encourage the Florida Office of Film and Entertainment to continue its very effective national and international marketing work in support of both public- and private-sector efforts to revitalize the Florida motion picture industry.
SB 1808 will not change the world for Florida filmmakers. It won’t create a film incentive or grant or financing program of any kind. It is a building block, meant purely to support other pending legislation and lay a foundation for future efforts. If it makes its way to a hearing on the Senate floor, however, we may be able for the first time in many years to prompt Florida’s legislators to voice full-throated, concerted, public support for our beleaguered industry.
Success comes slowly for the effort to restore film and television production in Florida, so long and consistently forsaken by our legislative leaders. But on whatever playing field, one small win will surely lead to more. While the successful passage of this resolution may seem small potatoes for now, the saying holds true that small potatoes are better than no potatoes at all.