MN Film Board anounces 2019 plan!

The MN Film & TV Board announced their 2019 legislative plan on Tuesday, December 4rd at the their preview breakfast. The event was held at James. J. Hill center in downtown St.Paul. The crowd of politicians, board members, lobbyists, film crew, actors and other interested parties noshed on brunch items and coffee for about an hour. At 9am, the executive director of the film board, Melodie Bahan, took the stage and opened up the event.

Film & TV movers & shakers took the stage to advocate for the industry in our State.

Film & TV movers & shakers took the stage to advocate for the industry in our State.

Director Bahan announced the film rebate in MN is lacking, She proposed an increase of the rebate (aka as “Snowbate”) to $10 million per year, the board would also like language in the current bill to be adjusted and an additional Tax Credit Incentive added for larger projects of feature films and TV series. She looks forward to meeting with the Governor-elect Tim Walz.

The director then turned the stage over to Mark Phillips, Commissioner, Department of Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation. Phillips announced an annual $250,000 grant for films made in the arrowhead. This grant was met with applause.

Vincent A. Thomas, Dean for Continuing Education and Workforce Development at Minneapolis College took the stage and announced a partnership with his college and the film board to help train and funnel students of diversity, race and gender to the Film industry. More details are to be announced.

Philip Gilpin, Executive Director, ITVFest was the last speaker to talk, his festival of independently produced TV is strongly considering a move to MN from its home base in Vermont. He sees MN as culturally ripe to flower with more film business and culture. (It was then announced a week later, Duluth as the new home of ITV fest.)

ITV fest and Triple RB director take the stage to announce their plans.

ITV fest and Triple RB director take the stage to announce their plans.

Local 490 Officers Deanna Johnson and Vice President Mark Wojahn attended the event for the union. VP Wojahn commented,

“Local 490 is interested in increased funding for the industry. We support a new Tax Credit and a continued rebate. We also like the idea of Minneapolis college training a more diverse workforce. We look forward to seeing these new legislative bills pass and educational programs develop and these fresh crew members to apply to our union when they are ready. “

The event was well attended and in a beautiful location. Local 490 was happy to attend and hopes to see production thrive again in our state.


Film Commissioner Testifies at Capitol / Snowbate draws interest at All Crew Party

The MN Film Incentive rebate program called "Snowbate" was one of the talking points at the 2018 All Crew Party. IATSE 490 debuted a new promo video to help illustrate the efforts of  people in MN who are advocating for the program.

The 'Snowbate' table at the event also acquired many sign-ups from attendees for more information and to volunteer. The party goers were so interested in the subject, they left the event with many of the complimentary t-shirts, stickers and totebags.

The MN Film & TV Board released a story this week on how the film commissioner, Melodie Bahan, testified to the State Tax committee recently advocating for a new tax credit bill for the industry.

                        MN Film commissioner, Melodie Bahan speaks at the Capitol.

                        MN Film commissioner, Melodie Bahan speaks at the Capitol.

From the Film Board,

"No, it's not "money for Hollywood." It's a tax credit for film, television, and other productions made in Minnesota.

Last week, Minnesota Film & Television Executive Director Melodie Bahan (above) testified in front of the House Tax Committee in favor of HF2508, co-sponsored by Rep. Kelly Fenton (R-District 53B), Rep. Greg Davids (R-District 28B), and Rep. Cheryl Youakim (DFL-District 46B).

“The spending that qualifies for the incentive program is only Minnesota spending,” Bahan said. “That’s Minnesota residents, Minnesota vendors, Minnesota businesses.”

The bill would provide a refundable tax credit equal to 25 percent of production costs. The companion bill in the Senate, SF2179, co-sponsored by Sen. Karin Housley (R-District 39), Sen. Carrie Ruud (R-District 10), and Sen. Richard Cohen (DFL-District 64) awaits action by the Senate Tax Committee.

"We need to create a competitive, stable program that allows companies like Disney and Netflix to invest their production dollars here,” said Bahan. "

IATSE 490 supports the efforts of the MN FILM BOARD. We support bringing our state up to the 21st century with modern tax credits, not unlike the other leading states in the Film Industry. For more info on the Film Board story click here.

Stay tuned to this website for more information.  

SNOWBATE Update - 5/16/17

As expected, Governor Mark Dayton has vetoed the Jobs omnibus bill that was passed by MN's GOP legislature.  That bill contained a drastic cut in Snowbate funding.  $500k/year.  The next steps in the legislative process will be for Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP leaders to negotiate acceptable 'targets' for overall spending totals in vetoed omnibus bills.  Snowbate is a small part of the overall Jobs omnibus bill.  When Gov Dayton and GOP lawmakers agree on an acceptable spending target, some of the funding for bills in the Jobs omnibus bill will be increased to raise the overall total.  We have to make enough noise at the Capitol so that Snowbate is one of those bills increased.

Please keep calling and emailing Gov. Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Rep. Pat Garofalo and Sen. Jeremy Miller.

If you have extra time, contact the Jobs Conference Committee Members.
Pat Garofalo 651-296-1069 rep.pat.garofalo@house.mn
Jim Newberger 651-296-2451 rep.jim.newberger@house.mn
Joe Hoppe 651-296-5066 rep.joe.hoppe@house.mn
Marion O'Neill 651-296-5063 rep.marion.oneill@house.mn
Tim Mahoney 651-296-4277 rep.tim.mahoney@house.mn 
Jeremy Miller 651-296-5649 sen.jeremy.miller@senate.mn 
Bruce Anderson 651-296-5981 sen.bruce.anderson@senate.mn
Bobby Joe Champion 651-296-9246 http://www.senate.mn/members/member_emailform.php?mem_id=1212&ls=90

Funding for Snowbate is administered by the MN Dept of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Please also contact DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy.  shawntera.Hardy@state.mn.us 651-259-7119

Snowbate Update - 4/30/17

Time to make a final push for Snowbate.  The House and Senate have voted to severely cut back Snowbate Funding.  The bills in each chamber are slightly different in their numbers. ($750k/year House, $500k/year Senate).  Funding for Snowbate (or lack there of) is included in the Jobs Omnibus Bill.  The House and Senate most often pass omnibus bills that do not match.  When that happens, the House and Senate meet to iron out their differences in Conference Committees before sending the bills to the Governor.

The Governor (we hope) will not sign bills that are not funded at levels that he approves. The Governor will provide 'targets' for the conference committee to meet.  Once the Governor and the conference committee members agree on the 'targets' the levels of the bills in the Jobs Bill will be adjusted to meet that target.  That is when Snowbate funding will need to be increased. 

It is time to let our MN legislature know that Snowbate is an important program that CANNOT have its funding cut.  Please contact the following legislators often.  The 'funding' that is proposed will completely destroy the progress we have made in the last 4 years.  It will eliminate jobs.  It will cause contraction in small business and economic spending. Tell them to fund Snowbate at competitive levels.

Governor Mark Dayton
Governor Mark Dayton
mark.dayton@state.mn.us
651-201-3400
Twitter - @GovMarkDayton

Lt. Governor Tina Smith
tina.smith@state.mn.us
651-201-3400
Twitter - @tinaflintsmith

House Jobs Committee Chair
Rep. Pat Garofalo (R)
rep.pat.garofalo@house.mn
651-296-1069
Twitter - @patgarofalo

Senate Jobs Committee Chair
Jeremy Miller (R)
sen.jeremy.miller@senate.mn
(651) 296-5649
Twitter - @jeremyrmiller

 

Snowbate Update - 4/11/17

This week all Legislators at the MN State Capitol are on Spring Break.  This is a great time to send them emails.  You can find email contact info on our Legislator Contact page.

This is also a great time to check out a story about Snowbate that was done by KSTP Channel 5.  Follow the link to view the story AND you can share the video directly with Gov. Dayton, Rep. Garofalo and Sen. Miller.  These three are some of the key figures that will be deciding the fate of the Snowbate Jobs Program.  When you click on the link, look for the 5 Take Action box.  Follow the steps and the message is sent to the Capitol.  

KSTP - 'Snowbate' Movie, TV Incentive Facing Deep Cuts

4/4/17 - Snowbate needs your help NOW at the Capitol

Snowbate funding is at risk of being drastically reduced at the Capitol.  The House Jobs Committee has included $750k/year in their Jobs omnibus bill to fund Snowbate.  The Senate is worse.  $500k/year for Snowbate.  The math on that for a 25% rebate would mean that Snowbate could only generate $2 million in economic spending in our state.  

To put this in perspective...

Movies like Wilson... Gone.
Shows like In An Instant... Gone.
Hopes at TV Shows like Mogadishu, MN... Stop Dreaming.
MN Small Businesses expanding to meet the demands of Snowbate... Thats a laugh.

It is important to remember that this is not over yet.  Sadly, this is all part of the process of negotiations between a GOP Legislature and a DFL Governor.  These draconian cuts in funding are not unique to Snowbate this year. The GOP House and Senate are putting together omnibus bills in many categories that the Governor will veto.  After the veto, they will get together to find a compromise.

We have to make sure that Snowbate is included in that compromise.  Our original bill asked for $13 million in funding.  Without that funding MN will not be competitive in the Film and TV industry.

Please visit our Legislator Contact page right now to find out who you should be contacting.  We need calls, emails and tweets.  Please contact legislators often.  Their offices will keep logs of how many calls and emails they get for Snowbate.  Keep your messages short and sweet.  Tell them to support competitive funding for Snowbate.  Please hide your disgust and be kind.

If you do use social media to contact Legislators, please use #snowbate in the message

 

  

Snowbate Update from MN Film/TV

Hello Everyone, 

Quick update. Senate File 266 (Snowbate Bill) will have a hearing in the Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee this Wednesday at 1 p.m. in room 1150 in Senate Building.

You are invited to attend the hearing if you are available. 

WHAT: Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee Hearing of Senate File 266

WHEN: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 1 p.m. 

WHERE: Senate Building

95 University Ave W - Room 1150

St. Paul, MN 55155               

WHY: Although you will not have to testify at this event, your presence in the committee room is important and helps show legislators how large our production community is.

If you aren't able attend, please contact the committee members with a short polite email and phone call telling them who you are, what you do, why Snowbate is important and ask them for their support of the bill. 

 

Chair - Jeremy R. Miller (28, R) 

651-296-5649
sen.jeremy.miller@senate.mn

 

Vice Chair - Paul T. Anderson (44, R) 

651-296-9261 

Email Form

 

Ranking Minority Member - Bobby Joe Champion (59, DFL) 

651-296-9246 

Email Form

 

Committee Members

Rich Draheim (20, R)

651-296-5558 

Email Form

 

Jason Isaacson (42, DFL) 

651-296-5537 

Email Form

 

Paul J. Utke (02, R) 

651-296-9651

Email Form

 

Michael P. Goggin (21, R) 

651-296-5612

Email Form

 

Matt Little (58, DFL) 

651-296-5252 

Email Form

 

Karin Housley (39, R) 

651-296-4351

sen.karin.housley@senate.mn

 

 

 

Erik Simonson (07, DFL)

651-296-4188

sen.erik.simonson@senate.mn

Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you again for your support.

Sincerely,

Minnesota Film and Television

Capitol Update - 2/4/17

SNOWBATE FUNDING UPDATE

The following update pertains to bills funding the Snowbate program.  There are additional bills at the MN Capitol that are seeking Legacy Funds.  Those bills will be in addition to Snowbate funding.  Legacy funds have more restrictions on the types of productions that can access them.  

Snowbate Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate that would provide funding for Snowbate.  Both bills provide $13 million in funding for the Snowbate incentive program.  This will be a one time funding increase.

The House bill (HF 789) has been chief authored by Rep. Kelly Fenton (R) of Woodbury.  Co-Authors include Jason Metsa (D) Iron Range, Jennifer Loon (R) Eden Prairie, John Lesch (D) St. Paul, Sandy Layman (R) Cohasset, Dennis Smith (R) Maple Grove, Joe McDonald (R) Delano, Greg Davids (R) Preston, Lyndon Carlson (D) Crystal, Leon Lillie (D) North St. Paul.

You can find the full text and further info on the House Bill Here HF 789

The Senate bill (SF 266) has been chief authored by Sen. Karin Housley (R) Forest Lake.  Co-Authors include Richard Cohen (D) St. Paul, Carrie Ruud (R) Aitkin/Brainerd, Tom Bakk (D) Iron Range, Jason Isaacson (D) Shoreview.

You can find the full text and further info on the Senate Bill Here SF 266

Both of these bills have been assigned to finance committees.  Please come down to the Capitol on 2/6/17 to find out more info and do your part.