Lights, camera, action … again

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2005

The 2005 edition of the Alabama Legislature swings into action (this) week. It will be a three-month run in Montgomery.

We will consider more than 1,000 bills during those days. Only a small fraction will become new laws.

Our focus will be on proposed teacher pay raises and solutions to a whopping $255 million shortfall in the general fund.

I am not worried because we survived the worst case scenarios in the past two years, and I am confident that we will rise to the challenges this year.

I will again push my motion picture legislation. I have two major tax incentive bills ready that I think can expand our economy and bring us a glamorous new industry to Alabama.

These bills provide tax credits to production companies that film their projects in Alabama using local home-grown talent and tax credits for investors in motion pictures filmed in Alabama.

The potential is staggering. Not only do we have the opportunity to make money but also to put our state on the map around the world. Already some 200 companies are looking at Alabama with great interest.

They have sent word that if these tax incentives become law, then they are coming to Alabama to do their projects.

That could mean an extra $100 million to Alabama’s coffers now and even more later. Last year, Louisiana did $300 million in movies using this same legislation I am pushing.

So this year, I plan a full court press to pass this legislation and get our state into the movie business big time. Pray for me.

Then, it’s lights, camera, action.

Hank Erwin serves as an Alabama state senator representing portions of Shelby County. He resides with his wife in Montevallo