Bill to keep film rebates approved 

 If the measure had
failed, the program would end in July of this year. Due to the lack of
majority votes necessary to kill the bill when it was heard yesterday,
the bill was reheard today, and was passed with 65 "yea" votes. 51 or
more votes were needed for majority rule, and the program is now
effectively in place through 2024. 

A spokesperson for the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, which is
affiliated with the Oklahoma Bureau of Tourism said that they are, along
with the Oklahoma Movie Industry are, "relieved and celebrating the
good news."

MARCH 3:
The House bill to extend the life of state film incentives and rebates,
HB 2580, failed to pass with the requisite number of votes in Monday's
legislative session. The bill failed by 5 votes.

The bill would
have extended the rebate program through July 2024. It now may expire
in July 2014. The incentive has been critical to bringing films and
related industry revenue into Oklahoma, including
Pearl, The Cherokee Word for Water, Bringing Up Bobby, Rudderless and August: Osage County

The
Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate reimburses up to 37 percent of
state-incurred, movie-related expenditures to companies filming here. 

Oklahoma Gazette
contacted Jill Simpson with the Oklahoma Film and Music Office, a
branch of the Oklahoma Department of Tourism that helps foster
relationships between Oklahoma and the film industry.

Said
Simpson: "If we eliminate the film incentive, films will simply no
longer be made here. It [Not passing this bill] will cost the millions
of dollars spent in Oklahoma by film makers and the jobs that result
from it. The film rebate is a sound investment and vital economic
stimulus for a growing industry.”


Because the bill lacked the required majority of 51 votes to kill it, it may

 be reheard as soon as Tuesday 

or Wednesday. 


“We are disappointed in the outcome of today's vote but are refocusing our efforts before it is reconsidered 
tomorrow. We remain hopeful it will pass,” Simpson said. 

A
Senate bill to keep the rebate program, SB 1721, has passed. The House
bill, if reheard, will need at least 51 votes from the 101 House members
to get closer to consideration by the governor.

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