Increase the revenue stream. Create local jobs. Support the Film Industry Incentive in Pennsylvania.


  

What incentives does the PA Film Industry Incentive offer?

Pennsylvania offers a 25% tax credit to films that spend at least 60% of their total production budget in the Commonwealth. This equates to money spent on anything from equipment to office supplies and everything in between (including hiring and filming locally). In addition, there is an incentive to freely use State owned property and a tax incentive at Pennsylvania hotels for cast and crew staying 30 (or more) consecutive days.

"The economic value of the arts and cultural production in the United States contributes more than twice the amount generated by mining (including oil and gas extraction). The motion picture industry adds more to the US economy than the total value added by automobile manufacturing."

~BEA (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Important Links

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  • Wednesday, August 31, 2022 11:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The makeup of the PA Legislative and Executive Branches will look very different in 2023. Not only will PA have a new Governor (current Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro is running against current Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano) but, on November 8, 2022, all 203 House seats are up for re-election and 25 of the 50 Senate seats are up for re-election. After retirements and primary election results, we already know at least 51 members of the Legislature will not be returning to Harrisburg in 2023. These members include legislators from all four caucuses including those in caucus leadership, committee chairs and rank and file members. When also taking into account the results of November General Election, it is difficult to fully predict the political landscape for 2023. As a result, we will need to be nimble when setting legislative strategy for next year.

    While the 2021-2022 legislative session runs until November 30th, there are very few session days scheduled between now and the end of the term. The House will be in session for 12 days, with 9 of them taking place before the November election. The Senate will be in session for 10 days, also with 9 of them taking place before the November election. See below for a listing of each chamber’s remaining session schedule.

    When the House and Senate briefly return to session the week of November 14th, we expect that leadership elections for 2023-24 will take place in all four caucuses. So while we will know the new leadership teams in both chambers shortly after the General Election, we likely will not know committee chairs and committee assignments until December, and possibly not until January.  

    FALL 2022 HOUSE SESSION SCHEDULE

    September    12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21

    October        24, 25, 26

    November    14, 15, 16

     

    FALL 2022 SENATE SESSION SCHEDULE 

    September    19, 20, 21

    October         17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26

    November     15


  • Friday, August 12, 2022 4:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A warm hello to our friends in film.

    July 2022 was a huge month for the film industry in Pennsylvania!!!! Given the craziness of everyday life, it is important to take a moment and celebrate our recent success of increasing the film tax credit by $30 million, from $70 million per fiscal year to $100 million per fiscal year. This increase would not have happened without all of your support over the last few years. Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies would like to thank David Haddad, members of the PAFIA board, and PAFIA’s general membership for everyone’s willingness to take time out of your busy schedules to advocate for the film industry. We also want to thank Senators Camera Bartolotta and Jay Costa and Representatives K.C. Tomlinson and Joe Ciresi for their leadership on this issue. Their email addresses are listed below. Please consider sending them a brief thank you email recognizing their effort and hard work.

    A warm hello to our friends in film.

    July 2022 was a huge month for the film industry in Pennsylvania!!!! Given the craziness of everyday life, it is important to take a moment and celebrate our recent success of increasing the film tax credit by $30 million, from $70 million per fiscal year to $100 million per fiscal year. This increase would not have happened without all of your support over the last few years. Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies would like to thank David Haddad, members of the PAFIA board, and PAFIA’s general membership for everyone’s willingness to take time out of your busy schedules to advocate for the film industry. We also want to thank Senators Camera Bartolotta and Jay Costa and Representatives K.C. Tomlinson and Joe Ciresi for their leadership on this issue. Their email addresses are listed below. Please consider sending them a brief thank you email recognizing their effort and hard work.

    Senator Camera Bartolottacbartolotta@pasen.gov

    Senator Jay Costacosta@pasenate.com

    Representative K.C. Tomlinsonktomlinson@pahousegop.com

    Representative Joe Ciresijciresi@pahouse.net

    Harrisburg is relatively quiet right now as the Legislature is currently in summer recess. The PA House and PA Senate do not return to voting session until mid-September. Legislators will be spending a lot of time in their districts campaigning as the November 8th General Election draws closer.

    We hope all of you are having a wonderful summer and don’t forget to take the time to celebrate the enormous victory we achieved together earlier this month!!!!

    Jim & Beth


  • Friday, April 22, 2022 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    On Wednesday, April 20th, the Senate Finance Committee held a public hearing on Pennsylvania’s film tax credit program at the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. Thank you to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to either attend the hearing in-person or watch online. If you missed the hearing, please check out the Senate Finance Committee’s website here. It will give you access to all the written testimony that was submitted and a link to a recording of the one hour and 20 minute hearing.

    We were thrilled with the number of legislators in attendance at the hearing – Senate Finance Committee Republican Chairman Scott Hutchinson and Senate Finance Committee Democratic Chairman Wayne Fontana, Senator Camera Bartolotta (R), Senator Judy Ward (R), Senator Devlin Robinson (R), and Senator Jay Costa (D). As you may recall, Senators Bartolotta and Costa are the Senate co-chairs of the bi-partisan Legislative Film Caucus.

    Presenting testimony to the Senate Finance Committee was a group of film and hospitality panelists. All of them shared personal stories about why they love their jobs, why they want to live and work in PA, and why it is important for the Commonwealth of PA to support, and grow,  the film tax credit program. The legislators greatly appreciated the panelists’ real life stories about how each of them found their place in the film industry, how they want to grow their businesses and support others entering the film and TV workforce, and the immense proud they all share in having one of the over 30,000 full time jobs generated or impacted by the film industry.

    While the film industry has generated over $5.2 billion in total economic activity since 2007, the impact of the industry is so much greater than what can be captured in an economic impact study. Our sincere thanks go out to those that participated in the hearing – Gregory Edwards (Executive Committee Member, IASTE Local 489 and Dolly Grip), Lela Checco (Crafty Craft Services, LLC), Keith Frank (Vice President, Teamsters Local 249), Brick Brickman (Set Painter), Trey Matheu (Managing Director, Nemocolin Woodlands Resort), and Dawn Keezer (Director, Pittsburgh Film Office). The wonderful testimony presented yesterday ensured that the legislators recognized and truly saw the faces of all the men and women working in the film industry (and dare I say they saw the hearts of each of the workers as well).

    After such a successful hearing, we must ride the wave of enthusiasm and support for the film tax credit program. We are encouraging all of you to reach out to your state House and state Senate member and ask them to increase the film tax credit from $70 million to $125 million when they pass a budget in Harrisburg this June. You can find the name and contact information for your local legislators using the website found here.

    We are also in the process of finalizing a date (tentatively Monday, May 23) and time for a reception in Harrisburg where film and TV industry stakeholders, like yourself, can mingle in-person with legislators and share your personal stories as to why increasing the funding for the film tax credit program is so important. We will share details about this receptions as they become available.

    Lastly, we wanted to share the Post Gazette’s coverage of the hearing. We thought the article captured the essence of the hearing nicely. The text of the article can be found below or via the link here.

    Pittsburgh-area film workers praise Pa.’s film tax credit, ask for increase before state Senate panel

      

    APR 20, 2022

     

    Pittsburgh Post Gazette

    After ABC’s “The Bachelor” filmed at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, the hotel saw an 18% increase in net revenue over its highest-ever earnings.

    While Tom Hanks filmed on a street in Bellevue for his upcoming movie “A Man Called Otto,” 20 nearby homes got repainted free of charge.

    As crews worked 12-hour days on movies like “The Pale Blue Eye” set to come out this year, staff spent $1.7 million on snacks and drinks locally to keep them going.

    These are all recent examples of the outward impact Pennsylvania’s film industry has on its broader economy, large and small, according to local film industry leaders who spoke before a panel of state senators on Wednesday.

    Several southwestern Pennsylvania lawmakers gathered in Pittsburgh with the film industry professionals to discuss the success of the state’s Film Tax Credit Program — and its unpredictability.

    Since its inception, the tax credit has brought more than $2 billion into the state, with 195 TV shows and movies filmed locally, according to the Pittsburgh Film Office.

    Pennsylvania is one of 42 states that offers some form of a film tax incentive to draw filmmakers to their regions. State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Monongahela, introduced legislation to increase the tax credit from $70 million to $125 million, but it was cut out of budget negotiations last year. The bipartisan lawmakers from the Pittsburgh region said they hope they can negotiate an increase as part of this year’s budget.

    There is no lack of interest in filming in Western Pennsylvania, said Dawn Keezer, the Pittsburgh Film Office director. Instead, the tax credit gets used up so quickly that local film companies need to turn big-time films or TV series away.

    “We have half a billion dollars worth of work that want to be here,” Ms. Keezer told the Senate panel.

    Plus, Pennsylvania has two movie-making hubs with Philadelphia across the state, making it stand out among others — though that means the two regions need to share the tax credits, Ms. Keezer added.

    “It’s Atlanta in Georgia, and Chicago in Illinois,” Ms. Keezer said about other popular places to shoot films in the U.S. “In Pennsylvania, it’s Pittsburgh and Philly, so the credit is underfunded and oversubscribed.”

    Pittsburgh-area film crews have gotten “really good” at painting the city to look like New York, offering a smaller environment where crews can actually close down the streets, Ms. Keezer said. Its proximity to mountains and rural communities also offers filmmakers a desired location to shoot — though it can be hard for them to shoot movies based in beaches or deserts.

    Last year, crime-thriller TV series “Mayor of Kingstown” wanted to film in southwestern Pennsylvania, Ms. Keezer said. But they didn’t have enough tax credits left to get them to film there, so they chose to film in Canada instead.

    This year, “Mayor of Kingstown” will film in Pittsburgh for its second season.

    “We’re thrilled about that, but we have to turn away more work than we ever see,” Ms. Keezer added.

    Ms. Bartolotta said she hopes to increase the tax credit this year, and add some insurance that the tax credit will stay steady for the next three-plus years.

    “You’re not going to build studios.. All of those people moving into Pennsylvania, that’s not going to happen if they think this is going to be a one-year experience,” Ms. Bartolotta added.

    Several panelists from local unions said the film jobs produce consistent, comfortable wages for their employees.

    Keith Frank, the vice president of Teamsters Local 249, tried to dispel the myth that these jobs are not sustainable. Most of his union members will work seven to nine months out of the year, but will work 3,000 hours during that time — much more than the 2,080 traditional 9-5 jobs offer, Mr. Frank said.

    It’s when this tax credit isn’t made available — like in 2017 — that its workers lose jobs, he added.

    Gillian McGoldrick; gmcgoldrick@post-gazette.com 

    First Published April 20, 2022, 4:04pm


  • Thursday, November 04, 2021 9:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    October Monthly Recap

    Both the PA House and Senate had two weeks of legislative session this month. While the 2021 legislative session is winding down, the politics heading into next year’s elections are starting to heat up. On October 13, PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced his long-expected candidacy for PA governor. In contrast to the crowded open US Senate seat race that will be on next year’s ballot, Shapiro does not expect another prominent Democrat to enter the gubernatorial race. On the Republican side, rumors that PA Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman will announce his candidacy for governor continue to grow with many expecting his announcement to come sometime in November. The Republicans already have a crowded field for the gubernatorial primary and Corman joining that race could certain thin the field.

    Some of the bigger policy discussions this month include:

    Wolf Administration Announces Vaccination Rates by Legislative District - The PA Department of Health released data showing vaccination rates by legislative district. According to the Wolf Administration, the overwhelming majority of the COVID-19 related cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Pennsylvania occurred in people who were not vaccinated. The state’s data doesn’t include Philadelphia. You can view the map here.

    - RACP Deadline Extended - The Wolf Administration will extend a window to accept new Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) applications. The window opened on Monday, October 18, 2021 and will close on Monday, November 1, 2021.

    -  Lobbyist Reform Measures Advance – The PA House State Government Committee favorably reported out several pieces of legislation that would make various changes to the 2006 lobbyist disclosure law including, require lobbyists to register any clients seeking state financial assistance or grants and file quarterly reports disclosing if they hold any equity in an entity they are lobbying for; prohibit a state agency or entity from hiring an outside lobbyist or political consultant to lobby any branch of government; prevent lobbyists from also being registered as political consultants; and require all lobbyists to complete mandatory ethics training developed by the state department.

    -  Criminal Justice Reform Measures Move in Senate - The PA Senate Judiciary Committee approved changes to the state’s probation system as part of a broader package of bills aimed at reforming the criminal justice system. SB 913, sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R), streamlines the probation review process and sets realistic guidelines for when a significant parole violation would lead to a return prison stay. The bill will ensure that minor violations don’t become a probation-to-prison revolving door. 

    Looking ahead, the PA Legislature is closing in on the end of the first year of a two-year legislative session. This means that all bills from 2021 will carry over “as-is” into 2022. But time is running out for movement to occur on the bill in 2021 as there are only 6 session days planned for the Senate and 9 session days planned for the House between now and the end of the calendar year.

    In film specific news, PAFIA President David Haddad will be coming to Harrisburg in on November 8th and 9th to meet with the four Film Caucus Chairs to discuss strategy for the remainder of 2021 and budget goals for 2022. We are looking forward to an engaging conversation with some of the Entertainment Production Tax Credit’s most ardent supporters. 

    On Monday, October 25, Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Commerce and Economic Development held a public hearing about the economic benefits of the film industry in the City of Philadelphia. Held at the request of Councilperson Katherine Gilmore Richardson topics discussed included:

    • funding support from the City of Philadelphia for a dedicated film office.
    • the need for local film incentives and the enhancement of statewide film incentives.
    • the cultural and tourism benefits associated with filming in Philadelphia.
    • the importance of keeping the economic engine that is the Philadelphia film and production industry.


  • Friday, October 01, 2021 1:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    September 2021 Recap

    Summer is officially over as the PA House and Senate returned to Harrisburg for legislative session after the Labor Day holiday. The House was in session for 7 days while the Senate had 6 voting sessions.

    The month of September started on a positive note as the PA Department of Revenue released August 2021 collections announcing that revenues were ahead of estimates. Fiscal year to date General Fund collections total $5.3 billion, which is $132.4 million or 2.6 percent, above estimate. More on the department’s collection can be found here

    In COVID-19 related news, PA Auditor General Timothy DeFoor released a performance audit examining how the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) handled a process to grant waivers to businesses seeking to stay open during an emergency shutdown ordered by Gov. Tom Wolf at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020. At that time, Gov. Wolf ordered businesses not categorized as “life-sustaining” to close their locations to help slow the spread of COVID-19 as part of an emergency declaration. The audit recommends additional consultation to determine the definition of “life-sustaining,” among other issues. The recommendations are based on findings that DCED posted five different versions of the waiver application and changed guidance on what is “life sustaining” nine times while a document with frequently asked questions was revised 14 times, according to DeFoor.

    More than 42,000 businesses sought a waiver from the governor’s closure order during spring 2020. DCED granted more than 7,000 waivers. A link to the audit can be found here.

    For industry specific news, we continue our advocacy in support of the film industry and increased funding for the entertainment production tax credit. We will be gathering the Film Caucus chairs together soon to discuss strategy for the remainder of the current fiscal year which ends June 30, 2022. We will also discuss strategy as we look ahead to the Governor’s FY 2022-23 budget proposal and the budget negotiations that follow.

    Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on Commerce & Economic Development had announced a public hearing on Wednesday, October 6 at 2pm. This hearing has since been postponed to a later date. The committee was to hear testimony on Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson’s Resolution 210643. The resolution calls for hearings to discuss the economic impact of the film industry in Philadelphia. A link to the resolution can be found here. We will keep you posted when a new date for the hearing is announced.


  • Wednesday, September 01, 2021 1:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    PAFIA – August Report

    The Covid-19 health pandemic and inquiries into the November 2020 general election remain hot topics in Harrisburg, even while the PA Legislature is in summer recess. The PA House and Senate return to session in mid and late September and we will keep you posted on the policy priorities of all four caucuses. Please let us know if you need any assistance in outreach to your local House or Senate member. The best time to introduce yourself is when there is no session and members are home in their district offices.

    In non-Covid-19 or 2020 election news, Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) ordered a special election to coincide with Pennsylvania’s municipal general election on November 2, to fill the vacant seat in the 164th Legislative District in Delaware County. The seat was vacated when Margo Davidson (D-Delaware) resigned after charges of theft and election code violations were filed against her.

    Also, Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) announced an initiative to make all Senate expenses available to the public online beginning on September 1. This includes all office leases, per diems, reimbursements for meals and lodging, supplies, mileage, office maintenance and much more. The information will be available on a new webpage, which will be updated monthly by the Chief Clerk and will apply to all Senate offices — Republican, Democrat, Independent and institutional.

  • Tuesday, August 03, 2021 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Since the PA Legislature and Governor finalized a Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget before the June 30th deadline, July was a relatively quiet month in Harrisburg. Even with the PA House and Senate being out of voting session until mid-September, there has been some high profile policy discussions playing out in the press. For instance, you have probably heard or read about the following issues: Pennsylvania joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, PA Senator Doug Mastriano’s (R-Franklin County) push for an audit of the 2020 General Election and the PA Transportation Revenue Options Commission’s proposal of additional fees and taxes to close an $8 billion funding gap to pay for infrastructure projects across the state. While unrelated to the Entertainment Production Tax Credit, the back and forth between elected officials is something to keep an eye on.

    During the summer months when the General Assembly is out of voting session, we continue to encourage PAFIA members to meet with their local legislators and drive home the importance of the Entertainment Production Tax Credit. We suggest highlighting the impact the film and television industries have on your business and employees. Hearing the voices of constituents is always an important factor when a legislator is making a critical decision in Harrisburg. Please let us know if PAFIA or Cozen teams can help with that local outreach.


  • Thursday, July 01, 2021 4:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Late Friday, June 25, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a $40.8 billion budget. Governor Wolf has stated that he will sign the budget bill, and accompanying budget code bills, before the end of the current fiscal year (which ends on June 30).

    Unfortunately, the budget did not provide for an increase to the $70 million Film Production Tax Credit program. Senator Camera Bartolotta publicly expressed her disappointment with the budget outcome in a Post-Gazette article found here.

    However, there was language added to the film tax credit program that gives special consideration to “multifilm” production, which is a series of separate and distinct films produced by the same taxpayer over a period of no less than one year and no more than four years from the time application. If an individual film include in a multifilm application is cancelled, the tax credit may be reissued to another applicant only after the Department of Community and Economic Development allows the taxpayer 90 days to apply for an alternative individual film. Senator Wayne Fontana said in a recent press release that the new changes are helpful, but a larger tax credit would mean more jobs and economic spin off.

    Some of you may be discouraged that the limit for the film tax credit program was not increased but please remember that there has been tremendous growth in support for the film tax credit within the legislature this year – even during a pandemic. Film caucus leaders advocated both publicly and privately in support of our cause and their efforts, along with yours, have not gone unnoticed. We encourage PAFIA members to continue to engage with legislators regarding the importance of increasing funding for the film tax credit. Whether is it meeting with legislators one on one in their district offices, inviting them onto sets, or posting on social media how the film industry is thriving in PA, please do not stop having conversations with elected officials. We can use this opportunity to grow our collective voices even more.

    With the passage of the state budget, the PA Legislature has started their summer recess. This is an opportunity for members to spend some time in their districts and to work on issues in preparation for returning to session in the fall. Unless sooner recalled by their respective chambers, the PA Senate will return to session on Monday, September 20 and the PA House will return to session on Monday, September 27. 

    More information on the budget

    Earlier this year, Pennsylvania was allocated $7 billion in funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) which had gone unspent until this budget. Of those dollars, $4 billion will go towards balancing this year’s budget and more than $2 billion has been set aside for the Commonwealth’s rainy day fund. All in, factoring in offline spending through federal CARES Act funds and American Rescue Plan funds, the FY 2021-22 budget grew just 2.6% over the current 2020-21 budget.

    Highlights of the General Fund Budget

    SB 255 – Appropriations Bill

    An additional $416 million in education funding - the largest single-year education funding increase in state history:

    • $200 million increase to the fair funding formula, for a total of nearly $900 million
    • $100 million for Level Up, a new initiative providing more equitable funding to the 100 most underfunded districts and the students they serve
    • $20 million for Ready to Learn
    • $50 million increase for special education
    • $30 million increase for early education, including $25 million to expand Pre-K Counts and $5 million to expand Head Start
    • $11 million for preschool Early Intervention
    • $40 million increase for the Education Improvement Tax Credit
    • Nearly $5 million for community colleges
    • Provides for the investment of ARP funding for a variety of Covid-19 relief assistance and recovery programs:
    • $350 million for schools to address learning loss and provide summer enrichment and after school programs to help students with academic, social, emotional and mental health needs
    • $50 million for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) to support the redesign and growth of the system 
    • $450 million for rental assistance
    • $350 million for homeowner mortgage assistance
    • $36 million to help pay water bills
    • $282 million to help nursing homes and long-term care facilities to recover from the pandemic and improve patient safety
    The budget also provides for $30 million in new state dollars for violence intervention and prevention by local communities and local organizations. 
    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 140-61
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 43-7
    • Link to fiscal note can be found here
    • Link to line item budget tracking can be found here

    Highlights from each code bill

    HB 1348 – Fiscal Code

    • Establishes the Angel Investment Venture Capital Program
    • Establishes a two-year pilot program for e-scooters in the City of Pittsburgh
    • Established the Opioid Settlement Fund for any monies received from litigation or settlements
    • Deposits 100% of any General Fund Surplus for FY 202/2021 into the Rainy Day Fund
    • Provides for Level Up in Basic Education
    • Provides payments for fairs that had to cancel in 202 0 due to COVID-19
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 42-8
    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 168-33
    • Link to fiscal note can be found here

    HB 952 – Tax reform Code

    • Provides for a sales and use tax exemption for the sale at retail or use of computer data center equipment for installation in a computer data center. Eligible criteria was defined.
    • Specific change to the Bank Shares Tax relating to mergers, pertaining to apportionment of income from another state.
    • Increases the accountability of tax credit and tax benefit programs, including a tax credit broker registration requirement. These reforms are based on recommendations from a 2019 grand jury investigation.
    • A change to the definitions in the film tax credit; creating a new definition for “multifilm”.
    • Local Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit Change (Act 66); changes the law from four taxpayers to two and eliminating the per project cap of $6.25 million per taxpayer.
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 46-4
    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 170-31
    • Link to fiscal note can be found here.

    HB 336 – Administrative Code

    • Establishes an audit of the judicial computer system with a report due to the General Assembly by January 31, 2022
    • Establishes a process for constitutional amendment questions to be circulated 14 days prior to publication
    • Requires registered lobbyists to report any equity holding in an entity in which they are lobbying on behalf of beginning July 30, 2022
    • Requires the Attorney General to defend certain claims against the Commonwealth
    • Creates a new Department of Environmental Protection permit for the temporary storage and transfer of beneficial reuse of oil and gas waster (water recycling)
    • Permits the Auditor General to audit a municipal authority and to make recommendations for improvement
    • Repeals the Department of Labor and Industry’s overtime regulation
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 28-22
    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 112-89
    • Link to fiscal note can be found here

    SB 381 – School Code

    • Passed the House on 6/25 by a vote of 154-47
    • Passed the Senate on 6/25 by a vote of 40-10
    •  Link to fiscal note can be found here


  • Tuesday, June 01, 2021 1:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Written By: Beth Brennan & Jim Davis, Lobbyists, Cozen O'Connor

    In May, Governor Tom Wolf continued to ease Covid-19 related restrictions. Event and gathering maximum capacity limits increased on Monday, May 17 and were eliminated entirely on Monday, May 31. Masking requirements remain, however, when 70% of the Commonwealth’s adult population is fully vaccinated the mask order will be lifted. PA Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam announced that the mask order will be lifted by June 28, 2021 at the latest.

    Tuesday, May 18 was primary election day in the Commonwealth.
    Pennsylvania voters approved two ballot questions that place restrictions upon the emergency powers of the Governor. Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to pass such measures. The constitutional amendments end a governor’s emergency disaster declaration after 21 days and give lawmakers the sole authority to extend it or end it at any time with a simple majority vote. Currently, the state constitution requires a two-thirds majority vote by lawmakers to end a governor’s disaster declaration. Under the law, a governor can issue an emergency declaration for up to 90 days and extend it without limit.

    There were also four special election to fill legislative vacancies.

    • In Lebanon County’s 48th Senate District, Republican Chris Gebhard won the seat formerly held by the late Sen. Dave Arnold, R-Lebanon, who died in January of a brain aneurysm.
    • Democratic state Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, won the special election for northeastern Pennsylvania’s 22nd Senate District which was formerly held by Senator John Blake who resigned to take a top congressional staff position.
    • In Somerset County’s 59th Legislative District, Republican Leslie Baum Rossi won a special election defeating Democrat Mariah Fisher. They were running in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Rep. Mike Reese, a Republican, earlier this year.
    • In Armstrong County, Republican Abby Major won a special election in state House District 60 replacing state Rep. Jeff Pyle who retired due to health issues.

    In film industry news, Reps Joe Ciresi (D-Montgomery) and K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks) introduced HB 1432. This legislation is identical to SB 321 which was introduced in March by Senator Camera Bartolotta. Both bills rename the film production tax credit program as the “Film Industry Incentive” and increase the level of state assistance for the program from its current $70 million amount to $125 million.

    On May 25, PAFIA hosted a legislative reception in Harrisburg to educate elected officials about the wide reaching economic benefits of film production. Co-hosted by the four film caucus chairs Senator Camera Bartolotta, Senator Jay Costa, Representative Joe Ciresi, and Representative Kathleen "KC" Tomlinson, there were over 65 legislators and legislative staff in attendance. Our thanks to PAFIA board members David Haddad, Ken Myers, Amy Sotereanos, Max Zug, and PAFIA Members Mike McCann and Angelo Sotereanos, who made the trip to Harrisburg to meet with legislators. Your advocacy and dedication have helped to ensure that the film industry incentive is included in budget negotiations. As June 30th draws near, the budget negotiations will only intensify as the Governor and General Assembly finalize a budget for next fiscal year. 
  • Thursday, May 06, 2021 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Written By: Beth Brennan & Jim Davis, Lobbyists, Cozen O'Connor

    Pennsylvania’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout moved full steam ahead this month as Governor Tom Wolf made several announcements in which he increased or expanded vaccine eligibility. All Pennsylvanians age 16 and older are now eligible to schedule a Covid-19 vaccine. As the month of April comes to a close, over 8 million vaccines have been given in PA with 47.3% of all Pennsylvania having received a first dose. The Commonwealth of PA ranks 10th among all 50 states for first does administered by percentage of population.

    The House and Senate tackled several Covid-19 related items this month. The Senate extended the chamber’s temporary rules to allow for remote participation in session and the House passed legislation provide temporary relief Covid-19 related liability claims. Similar legislation was vetoed by Governor Wolf in 2020.

    Pennsylvania House Republicans released a report that includes answers and policy suggestions in response to a survey sent to Pennsylvania employers in February. 921 business responded to the survey. The report noted that the hospitality and tourism industry has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the key findings of the report: 31 percent of respondents said the biggest challenge facing their business has been state virus mitigation orders; 21 percent said financial issues and hardships are their greatest challenges; 28 percent said tax reductions would have the greatest impact on their future success, while another 22 percent said their future success depends upon the Commonwealth removing restrictions and allowing them to fully open for business.

    Pennsylvania Democrats put forward a Pennsylvania Rescue Plan to help employers in all sectors including the hospitality industry. The House Democratic Caucus began developing its “Pennsylvania Rescue Plan” early in the year. The plan would provide funding for businesses unable to stay open or work remotely, job creation, child care, high-speed internet, telehealth, and resources for community college students, among other items.

    PAFIA worked with the House Film Caucus Chairs to help host a tour of Sun Center Film Studios followed by a small informal gathering in Philadelphia. A group of 7 bi-partisan Representatives participated in the tour which included a mix of both newly elected and more senior tenured legislators.

    Discussions continue with legislators regarding the requested increase to the entertainment production (film) tax credit program. Budget negotiations among the four caucuses and Governor have not yet officially begun, but our advocacy remains focused on educating members on the economic development benefit of the film and television industry. With an enhanced film tax credit, the industry can play a significant role in the Commonwealth’s Covid-19 financial recovery.

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A Message From Your Lobbyist



Budget Update

In June, the House and Senate passed a $32 billion spending plan. In late July the Senate passed a revenue bill to fund that spending plan. The new revenue package would generate $530 million from new taxes, including $200 million from expanded gaming, as well as natural gas severance tax. Additionally, the Senate approved $1.3 billion in borrowing against future tobacco settlement payments.

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August 29, 2017


Budget Update

At the end of June, there remained significant uncertainty as to the direction and timing of the state budget. Now, as July comes to an end, a different but similar form of uncertainty exists. While the $32 billion spending bill is now law, the mechanism necessary to generate the revenue remains unresolved.

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August 7, 2017


Budget Update

June 30th is upon us...and as the final day of the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year, I am pleased to report that the general appropriations bill (the budget bill) will be complete by the end of the day.

At this point, legislative leaders have coalesced around a spend number - roughly $31.996 billion – but decisions over exactly where new revenues will come from to close a $1.2 - $2 billion budget hole remain elusive. One potential new recurring source of money that’s sure to be talked about in the week ahead is gaming expansion. 

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June 30, 2017


Budget Update

Memorial Day has come and gone, propelling us into the next annual holiday (or so it seams)... the state budget.

As we all know, June is the busiest month of the year i Harrisburg - with feverish negotiations towards a balanced budget. And just like in years past, the state is stuck with difficult decisions to make:

How much needs to be cut? What gets cut? If we can't find enough savings in cuts, where do we get new revenue? Increase existing taxes? Establish new taxes?

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May 31, 2017


It's Budget Season

It's budget season again in Harrisburg. It's like Groundhog Day. Please, refrain from getting so excited.

Earlier this month the House has passed its version (HB218) of the 2017-2018 budget and sent it to the Senate. This year, the budget is approximately $32 billion, with the two major areas of PreK-12 education ($12 billion) and health and human services ($13 billion).

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April 27, 2017


PA Budget Update

On Tuesday, February 7, Governor Wolf gave his third budget address since being elected Governor. And the Governor held true to his word that he would not seek an increase in the tax rates for income or sales. 

Instead, the Governor proposed some consolidations (combining 4 departments - Health, Human Services, Aging and Drug & Alcohol - into one) and closings (closing a prison in western Pennsylvania) which would incur some savings. Additionally, the Governor proposed some new revenue options like internet gaming (approximately $150 million in estimated revenue) and also charging a $25 per resident fee if you live in a municipality which uses the state police for PRIMARY protection.

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Feb 24, 2017


Budget Update

The House and Senate started a new two-year session on Tuesday, January 3, swearing in all 203 House members and 25 Senators. The 2017/2018 session that lies ahead will have many hallenges, most notably the same one that has plagued this Commonwealth in recent memory - the budget.

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Jan 18, 2017


Pennsylvania Budget Update

First and foremost, Happy Holidays to everyone. Pour yourself a glass of holiday cheer and drink up before reading the following state budget update.

Good. Are you feeling warm and fuzzy? Things a little blurry? Well things are blurry in Harrisburg these days as well.

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Dec 21, 2016


2016 Election - Pennsylvania Results

Results of the 2016 election:

President

  • Donad Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by 64,000 votes (48.76% to 47.68%)

US Senate

  • US Senator Republican Pat Toomey defeated Katie McGinty by 96,000 votes (48.89% to 47.26%)

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Dec 5, 2016


Message from PaFIA Lobbyist

Pennsylvania’s primary election on April 26th has come and gone, with no incumbents being ousted as fallout from last year’s budget impasse. So now, as session continues into May and June, the attention turns again to the Budget. And while the state budget isn’t due for two months, neither side appears to have moved away from the hard-and-fast positions staked out during the historic impasse.

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May 10, 2016


Message from PaFIA Lobbyist

Budget Overview: Last month, Governor Wolf allowed the $6 billion GOP-crafted supplemental budget bill (HB 1801) to become law without his signature. At the time, Wolf insisted the spending plan remained out of balance and said he cannot put his name on a plan that spends more dollars than exist.

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Apr 18, 2016


PA Budget Update

The budget impasse is now beyond 100 days. Negotiations continue between the Governor and Leaders in the House and Senate.

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Oct 9, 2015

The PA Film Tax Credit



The Milken Report on Pittsburgh Film Incentives

The Milken Institute, the nonprofit think tank known for data driven studies offering solutions to policy initiatives, has turned it’s eyes on Pittsburgh’s film and media scene in the hopes of determining what makes Pittsburgh home to what is called “a thriving cluster of media related jobs.”

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Oct 7, 2015


Native Bucks County brothers making big waves in the film industry thanks to talent and PA film tax credits!

Ben and Oliver Samuels are producing brothers shooting in their native Bucks County. Ben attended Tufts University and made a microbudget horror film, entitled Watch Me, immediately after graduation. The film starred then unknown actor Nick Jandl, who is now breaking hearts as Dr. Caleb Ryan on Nashville.

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Jul 2, 2015


Film tax incentive program differences

Over the past weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported that the North Carolina legislature had voted to end the state’s film incentive program. Lawmakers were quoted expressing a desire to cut one of the oldest and most successful film programs in the country and instead provide incentives for other industries in North Carolina.

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Sep 10, 2013

Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)
461 Cochran Road, Box 246
Pittsburgh, PA 15228
(717) 833-4561  info@pafia.org

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