Film grant funds trimmed in new version of two-year budget plan

Film grant funds trimmed in new version of two-year budget plan

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - House lawmakers have cut $40 million from the Film and Entertainment Grant Fund in the latest version of the state's two-year budget plan.

Members of the House Rules, Calendar and Operations Committee approved a new Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) to House Bill 97 Thursday afternoon, clearing the way for debate on the House floor. The new PCS includes $40 million for the Film and Entertainment Grant Fund for both 2015-16 & 2016-17 budget years, down from $60 million included in the earlier version of the bill.

Rep. Ted Davis (R-New Hanover) says the cut in the film grant is a result of negotiations during the budget process. Davis says some lawmakers wanted the cuts to be even deeper. As a result of the negotiations, Davis says members of the House Republican Caucus agreed not to offer any other amendments that would cut the film grant, and would not support any amendments that included a cut.

"I'm ecstatic that we still have $80 million in the film grant in the budget for the next two years," Davis said. "That's four times what the governor has in his budget, four times what we have in the grant now, and four times what the Senate was looking at. I think it will send a strong message to the Senate that we're trying to support the people who work in the film industry, and the businesses that also support it."

Along with cutting $20 million from the film grants in each of the two budget years, lawmakers also cut out a four-year extension for the state's Research and Development Tax Credit.

To view the latest version of the state's budget plan, click here: http://bit.ly/1c7NGHJ

Copyright 2015 WECT. All rights reserved.