FL Senate Bill 526 Passed Committee, Under Review
(released 2/21/2019)

Florida Senate Bill 526 is seeing Yeas in committee and is on to review. The bill helps filmmakers, who qualify, to produce their work in the sunshine state. If this bill is successful, here are the first hoops you as a filmmaker have to hurdle.

Does your project meet this criteria (as extracted from the bill):

•   Is a film, television, or digital media project that is not obscene, as defined in s. 847.001, F.S., or pornographic;
•   Has a proposed budget of qualified expenditures of at least;
  o $1.5 million for a film project;
  o $500,000 per episode for a television series; o $1 million for a television pilot; or
  o $1.5 million for a digital media project
•   Projects to employ a crew, excluding extras, made up of at least 60 percent Florida residents;
•   Proposes to spend at least 60 percent of its total budget in Florida;
•   Does not use both the state sales tax exemption and a grant available under the grant program;
•   Makes a good faith effort to use existing Florida providers of infrastructure or equipment, including providers of gear, grip and lighting equipment, vehicles, and postproduction services;
•   Agrees to include marketing that promotes Florida tourism or Florida's film and entertainment industry on its project, e.g., a "Filmed in Florida" logo, local digital media office logo, or other statement that has been approved by the Commissioner;
•   Permits the Commissioner or an affiliate to visit the project's production site, along with up to five guests; and
•   Provides at least five photos of the production to the Commissioner for use in promoting Florida as a film, television, or digital media production location, or a tourist destination.

Great! Now here is where an outline of your project is needed to be submitted:

?   Start date;
?   Employment information, including how many Florida residents it intends to employ;
?   Budget of planned qualified expenditures;
?   Distribution plan for use in estimating the project’s potential economic impact in Florida;
?   Expected total qualified expenditures in Florida, including a specific amount for wages to be paid to Florida residents;
?   Final script, production schedule, Day out of Days report, and list of expected shooting locations, if the project is a film or television project;
?   Scripts for two episodes, if the project is a television project;
?   Detailed game design document, if the project is a digital media project; and
?   A signed affirmation that the information included in the application is correct.

All of the above is language in the bill. The bill is currently pending reference review under Rule 4.7(2)- (Committee Substitute) were by it needs to be seen in other committees. The Committee References available are Commerce and Tourism, Innovation, Industry and Technology and Appropriations. At this time the budget of the state does not allot funds for this bill.  S526 was filed on 2/19/2019 in Commerce and Tourism Committee. The results were 4 Yea and 0 Nay. The Senators Voting Yea are Hutson, Stewart, Wright, and Gruter (Chair).

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