In the span of only ten minutes at the Capitol this afternoon, Senate Bill 1808, carrying a resolution in support of Florida motion picture production, unanimously passed the Senate Committee on Commerce and Tourism. Three Florida senators spoke energetically in favor and all five committee members voted to approve, giving this modest but essential bill a clear path forward.

By their vote, the members agreed with the three key elements of the resolution:

“that the Senate recognizes the value of film and production as an economic driver and a creator of high-wage jobs;

“that the Senate encourages continued collaboration of both public-sector and private-sector efforts to develop programs and partnerships related to film and television production; and

“that the Senate supports and encourages the Florida Office of Film and Entertainment as it continues to promote such partnerships, including national and international collaborative programs, in its national and international marketing efforts.”

A concise and effective introductory presentation by bill sponsor Senator Annette Taddeo was followed by representatives of organizations from around the state who waived in support and appearances in favor by John Lux of Film Florida and Chris Ranung of COMPASS. Facing opposition only from Americans for Prosperity, SB 1808 handily cleared its first hurdle and is now positioned for consideration by the Senate Rules Committee, the final step before it can be heard and approved by the full Senate on the floor.

Video of committee proceedings is available on The Florida Channel here. Discussion on the resolution begins at the 20:05 mark and ends at 30:25.

If SB 1808 successfully passes the 2019 session, this small win may be remembered as the moment our collective voice first began to be heard. We thank Senator Taddeo sincerely for her tireless work on behalf of our industry, Chair Gruters for his leadership and consistent advocacy, the members of the Committee, and everyone in the audience who showed up to support this effort.

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