Close Call for the Film Grant
In previous Legislative Sessions I was successful in lobbying for a recurring annual appropriation of $31,000,000 with no sunset clause for the Film Grant.
Because of miscommunication with the State Commerce Department, the Chief House Appropriation Chairs were led to believe that there was $67,380,519 of unused funds in the Film Grant Fund, so an additional $31,000,000 was not necessary in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. This resulted in that amount being cut from the proposed Budget for the upcoming fiscal year and was to be used for other things.
Fortunately, when I found out about this, I was able to inform the Appropriation Chairs and provide them with documentation that approximately $35,140,683 of that amount was already encumbered for various projects, leaving just $32,239,836 available for new projects. According to the NC Film Office, there are presently 5 projects, and possibly 2 more, that have been agreed to in principal but no final contract has been signed by all of the parties. Obviously, as each contract is finalized more of the $32,239,836 will become encumbered.
After I presented this clarification to the Appropriation Chairs, and with the assistance of the Speaker of the House, the $31,000,000 was put back in the Budget.
I have always been, and will continue to be, a strong advocate for this very important economic engine for our region and State.