As a direct line of representation to all levels of state government, the Florida Film and Entertainement Advisory Council (FFEAC) has for many years been an important and relevant advocate for Florida’s film community in Tallahassee. Two omnibus bills introduced during the 2020 legislative session – SB 1636 (Baxley – R, District 12) and HB 7039 (Rodriguez – R, District 118) – directly threaten this essential body’s existence by including it in a blanket proposal to repeal the broad array of advisory bodies and councils currently in statute.
COMPASS has gone to bat for the FFEAC, which operates under the auspices of the Florida Office of Film and Entertainment. Our lobbyists met last week with the bill’s sponsors in both chambers to apprise them that council members are unpaid and advise of the value this voluntary council brings to industry issues. Based on our conversations, it appears both legislators understand our position and are amenable to addressing the issue. However, we will continue to work to assure the reference to the FFEAC is removed as the legislation moves forward.
The bill – with the FFEAC citation – already has passed favorably through two of its three committee referrals on the House side; however, it has yet to appear on the agenda of its first Senate referral, the Government Oversight and Accountability Committee. COMPASS will be prepared to speak in defense of the Council if a hearing in either chamber is scheduled anytime over the course of the final five weeks of legislative session.