01 June 2005

Floor action, Jun. 1: SB 731

HB 731 hit the floor. Rep. Bryant Hammett argued for its passage, thus renewal of the film tax credit if however in a reduced form in scope (Louisiana jobs/cost only) but higher in return to the maker if they qualify (from 15 to 25 percent). He said it was something he, the governor, and film industry had negotiated.

Rep. Mike Walsworth brought up the point that the film industry was given a special place in this bill, while many other industries could be assisted. Hammett argued that other legislation and Department of Economic Development money could help others.

Rep. Steve Scalise offered amendments to limit the reductions in reimbursements for big-budget films. Hammett opposed, saying the higher limit was too high, that more attention needed to be given to the smaller concerns anyway as they keep the industry going year-round. Scalise insisted that bigger companies more easily could “bring back” those leaving the state. His amendment was defeated 42-61.

The problem is that even making the program less generous still may have the state paying out more money than it would take in, especially after removing caps on salaries that could be reimbursed. Further, a sunset provision was removed. The bill passed 76-20.


“Since we’re introducing everybody today, I’d like to introduce two window washers and a couple of lizards from outside. Let’s give them a warm welcome.”

Rep. Warren Triche, after a slew of introductions of individuals, including what some would charitably refer to as “singing” of “Happy Birthday” for Rep. Jim Fannin’s “39th” birthday.

“Speak for yourself.”
Hammett, who is term-limited at the end of this term, after Rep. Glenn Ansardi suggested during the HB 731 debate that they and others would not be “around” in the Legislature after 2007.

“Can you hear me now … can you hear me now…”
Rep. Tim Burns explaining HB 759 which updates statutes dealing with hearing aid dealers. Yes, he actually got a few laughs.

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