Committee weeks are already well underway in Tallahassee. At this point, COMPASS is exploring the merits of several possible legislative engagements and may ultimately decide to establish a presence on some issues in Tallahassee during the 2020 session. Measured against the compelling priority of our commitment to developing the Feature Florida Partnerships concept on a regional level, however, it remains to be seen whether any energy expended on the state level would be a prudent use of our time and resources.
We will of course unfailingly advocate for the success of SB 530 (Gruters – R, District 23) and HB 497 (Buchanan – R, District 74), two bills recently introduced as the 2020 versions of film incentive legislation initiated by Film Florida last year. We would be very pleased to see this effort to create a Film, Television, and Digital Media Targeted Rebate Program gain traction in both chambers and stand ready to voice our support whenever it’s needed over the coming months. Yet we are heedful that Americans for Prosperity announced its opposition to the Gruters effort right out of the blocks, likely presaging roadblocks similar to those thrown up in 2019, particularly in the House.
What hasn’t changed, of course, is the urgent need for Florida to find some way to compete effectively for motion picture production once again. A lot of smart people have set their minds to find answers to this conundrum and all seem committed to being mutually suportive. Accordingly, the run-up to 2020 begins with promise. Maybe, just maybe, this will finally be a good year for the Florida film industry.