AUSTIN – Fort Worth-backed legislation to expand the region’s film industry was introduced in the Texas Senate on Monday after winning final passage in the House by a 121-21 vote.
Republican House Leader Craig Goldman of Fort Worth told House members the bill “will provide the state with hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.”
Lawmakers then voted without debate to give a quick pass.
Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, who was re-elected on Saturday, designated House Bill 4419 as a top legislative priority that would further boost film and television production in both Fort Worth and Texas.
All but one of the 11 Tarrant County House members supported the measure, with Republican Tony Tinderholt of Arlington casting the only dissenting vote. Six Republicans joined all four Tarrant Democrats in voting to bring the bill to the Senate.
Goldman, who chairs the House Republican Caucus, said later that he would work later in the day to field a Senate sponsor in his bid to get the entire legislature approved before the May 29 adjournment.
Tinderholt, as expected, voted down HB 4419 after making two previous attempts to scuttle the measure on point of order. He made no further parliamentary moves against the bill on Monday other than voting against it.
Tinderholt later told the Fort Worth Report that despite her efforts against the measure, “I have every intention of congratulating my colleague on passing a bill I disagree with. I don’t like politics. But he worked very hard and ended up passing it and I mean congratulate him for passing that bill.
“We should have an attitude of colleagues and respect for each other. And I’m trying to maintain that at all times.
His opposition to the bill, he said, was rooted in his fundamental view that the film program was a misuse of “people’s tax dollars.”
Tinderholt’s first motion on 3 May was welcomed by MPs, sending the measure back to committee and spreading anxiety among supporters in the final days of the legislature. But Goldman corrected the bill and rushed it through two committees to get a preliminary vote in the House on Saturday. Another Tinderholt policy recall on Saturday was reversed.
HB 4419 creates two state funds to support the motion picture industry, modeled after the state’s Major Events Trusts Fund which has been used to secure major events such as major conventions and international sporting competitions.
The bill would also create a virtual film production institute at Texas A&M University, and a branch of the institute could be located on the $350 million A&M campus planned for downtown Fort Worth.
Another major goal for film industry advocates is to increase the amount of state-funded rebates to encourage film industry production in Texas from the current $45 million to a maximum of $200 million. The incentives are part of deliberations currently underway as lawmakers seek to craft a final state budget for 2024-25, but House and Senate negotiators are reportedly a long way off on trying to set the amount for the government discounts. movie.