Gov. Lujan Grisham, Sen. Rodriguez announce bill to ensure thriving future for New Mexico film industry by removing rebate cap
SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday unveiled Senate Bill 2, which will reinvigorate and provide for the future of the New Mexico film and media industry by finally removing the restriction on annual rebate payments.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Rodriguez of Santa Fe, sends a clear message about the state administration’s commitment to film industry professionals in New Mexico and producers who continue to bring their productions to the state. Senate Bill 2 will remove the $50 million annual “cap” on rebate payouts and make other tweaks that will streamline the program and simplify its use for producers, including the elimination of the state’s tiered payout system and facility restrictions and tightened residency and pass-through requirements.
“We have built a viable industry in New Mexico, providing opportunity for our students to find exciting work and benefits without leaving the state,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “Now we will help that viable industry transform into something greater. This legislation represents a return to the right kind of attitude about New Mexico’s film and television industry. For too long, our ability to grow has been artificially shackled. The cap’s time has come, and I look forward to continued productivity in this clean, exciting sector, with renewed growth into other parts of our beautiful state.”
“We can’t keep the door half-closed,” said Sen. Rodriguez. “This is a bill for New Mexico, for New Mexicans who already work in this industry and young people who want to start. And it’s a great step toward diversifying our economy.”
“We want to continue to see film productions spread throughout the state, beyond the Rio Grande corridor,” said Secretary-designate Alicia Keyes of the Economic Development Department. “When a production comes through, our local economies benefit.”
In attendance at a news conference Friday announcing Senate Bill 2 were numerous representatives of the film and television industry in New Mexico, including actors who are native New Mexicans and who have moved to the state after filming here, representatives of the film technicians union, business-owners who have seen their portfolios expand through increased film productivity and other advocates.
New Mexico currently has eight productions on the ground, four of which are television series, and another ten are scheduled to begin filming through June.