Gov. Jerry Brown to sign California film tax credit bill

California Gov. Jerry Brown gives a speech in July.
(Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown is poised to put his signature to a bill that would triple annual funding for California’s film and TV tax credit program.

Brown announced he will sign the bill into law on Thursday at a ceremony in Los Angeles, capping a yearlong campaign by a coalition of entertainment industry groups to bolster California’s film incentives and halt the flight of productions from the state.

The bill, AB 1839, would boost funding to $330 million annually over five years, beginning in 2015. That compares with the current level of $100 million per year. The measure would also allow more projects to qualify for the subsidies, including large-budget features and TV pilots, and phase out an unpopular lottery used to select applicants.


Brown’s signature is a formality given that he already announced last month that he would support the landmark legislation, which was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate and the Assembly.

“This law will make key improvements in our Film and Television Tax Credit Program and put thousands of Californians to work,” Brown said in late August after he reached a deal with Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the bill.

The ceremony is set to occur outside of the TCL (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre in Hollywood at 10 a.m. with speeches by Brown and Mayor Eric Garcetti, who lobbied hard for the expanded incentives. The bill’s sponsors, assemblymen Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) and Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) also are expected to speak at the event.

The selection of the venue was complicated by a dispute that erupted Tuesday between Garcetti’s office and Hollywood unions over the planned use of non-union crews to assemble the stage and bleachers for the event, said one person familiar with the matter.

A spokesman for Garcetti disputed the account, saying the mayor’s office reached out to the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to ensure their members would staff the event.

“It was never the plan to use non-union labor,” said Yusef Robb, spokesman for Garcetti. “The event is going forward and union labor is building the stage.”


Times reporter Marc Lifsher contributed to this report.