House Works to Grow Alabama’s Film Production Industry

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama House of Representatives will take up a bill aimed to grow the state’s film production industry and boost job growth when lawmakers return for the eighth day of the 2012 legislative session Tuesday.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard said Alabama has a real opportunity to expand its presence in the film and television industry, and create jobs in the process.

“Growing Alabama’s film production industry can render tremendous economic benefits for our state, and I’ve been impressed at the leading role Rep. Terri Collins (R-Decatur) has played on this issue,” Speaker Hubbard said. “We want Octavia Spencer’s next Oscar to be for a movie made right here in Alabama.”

Spencer, a Montgomery-native and Auburn University graduate, won the Academy Award for best supporting actress on Sunday for her role in “The Help.”

Additional bills up this week would fund bonuses for certified teachers and protect pension benefits for state law enforcement.

“Rewarding teachers for earning national board certification helps us increase the quality of our teaching ranks and ensure students achieve more,” Speaker Hubbard said. “We’re also committed to protecting the benefits of our state police, which Rep. Jay Love’s bill will do by clearing up the law to make sure overtime pay counts toward retirement.”

More information on these marquee bills on the calendar for Tuesday:

 Alabama Film Incentive Enhancement Act, House Bill 243 sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins
 Alabama has long trailed behind in the film and television production industry because our state lacked the incentives other states have to help attract these job-creating productions here.
 Movies like “Forrest Gump” may be predominately about Alabama, but they are filmed in other states like Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana which have incentives to attract them.
 A 2011 law that included television productions in Alabama’s film incentive has already rendered great success as the popular shows “Rocket City Rednecks,” “Big Shrimpin’” and “Sweet Home Alabama” all based their productions in Alabama.
 This bill would expand Alabama’s film/television production incentive cap from $10 to $25 million, making Alabama more competitive in the industry.
 The bill would also double the amount productions could spend and count toward tax incentive rebates from $10 million to $20 million. This would help Alabama attract larger productions that will in turn create more jobs.

 Teacher Certification Bonuses, House Bill 251 sponsored by Rep. Jay Love (R-Montgomery)
 Teaching is more than just a job. It’s a profession of the highest calling.
 Lawmakers are committed helping educators excel in their profession by rewarding efforts to enhance their teaching abilities.
 This bill sets aside $2.3 million fund a $5,000 salary supplement for teachers who complete the process to become national board certified.
 In Alabama we want excellent teachers in every classroom preparing the next generation of Alabamians to be our greatest yet. Supporting our teachers in their pursuit of national board certification helps make that a reality.

 Protecting Public Safety Retirement Benefits, House Bill 255 sponsored by Rep. Jay Love
 Current law does not specifically include overtime pay in “earnable compensation,” which is the basis for retirement pay for state policemen.
 This bill would clarify one and for all that overtime payments made to state policemen are part of earnable compensation and therefor will count toward calculating retirement benefits.
 The bill was amended in committee to apply to all members of the Employees Retirement System.

The House convenes at 1:00 p.m. Tuesday.

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