The California senate voted on Friday (August 29) to approve a measure that will ramp up the state’s $100m annual allocation to $330m over five years, starting next year.
The chamber passed the Film and Television Job Creation and Retention Act by 32 votes to two.
The measure’s film portion – roughly 35% of the allocation – provides for several things, one of which is to raise the cap on tentpole eligibility to productions budgeted at more than $75m.
Supporters, some of whom had sought a $400m annual package, said the Act would create or save 80-100,000 TV and film-related jobs in production over the next five years.
The bill needs to clear two further hurdles – the state Assembly and Governor Jerry Brown – both of which are regarded as formalities.
“We’ve been watching this industry slowly melt away from this state,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told CBS affiliate KCAL 9. “Today we put the flag back down and we say, ‘California’s coming back.’”
In recent years California has lost productions to other US states offering attractive incentives such as Michigan, Louisiana, New Mexico and New York.
According to the non-profit organisation Film LA, film and TV production in the LA County area has plunged roughly 50% in the last 20 years.
With other US states offering strong schemes and the ongoing allure of Canada and the UK in particular, supporters recognised the measure would not restore production levels to what they were but would enable a significant claw-back.