California Gov. Gavin Newsom is using an extension of state tax credits for film and television production to try to lure back business from states that are enacting restrictions on abortion.
''Over the past several years, the legislatures of states like Georgia and Oklahoma have waged a cruel assault on essential rights,'' Newsom, a Democrat, wrote in a paid political advertisement targeted at the content creation industry Wednesday. ''Now in the wake of the Supreme Court's abhorrent decision overturning Roe v. Wade, those same states are quickly moving to stop reproductive freedom.''
Newsom said that while these states, some of which have taken this kind of business away from California, are ''causing pain'' in the ''communities they target,'' California is a ''freedom state'' where the industry can ''tell their stories'' while accessing the healthcare services they need, including abortion.
In the ad, Newsom also points out the ''robust tax credits and other incentives'' for the companies in the industry to avail themselves of by working in California, including a bill that, if passed, provides an extension of tax credits and incentives that were set to expire, through 2030.
According to Variety, the legislation could provide up to $1.65 billion in tax credits, equaling around $330 million a year during the period.
It also includes some $420 million in incentives to produce content and build soundstages in the state, the article said.
''As other states roll back people's rights, California will continue to protect fundamental freedoms for all and welcome businesses that stand up for their employees,'' Newsom said in a statement to Variety. ''Extending this program will help ensure California's world-renowned entertainment industry continues to drive economic growth with good jobs and a diverse, inclusive workforce.''
Film organizations are also lining up behind Newsom on the legislation and effort to get production back in the state.
''The governor's announcement today speaks to the values held by so many people across the film and TV production industry,'' Colleen Bell, executive director of the California Film Commission, told the publication. ''More than ever, California offers the best value and the best values. Working in and supporting a state that violates basic freedoms is antithetical to the industry's core values. It's also bad business.''
Newsom said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday that production companies needed ''to choose'' whether to support anti-abortion states or California's abortion freedoms.
''Today, Hollywood will wake up to this ad. Time to choose,'' his post read. ''You can protect your workers or continue to support anti-abortion states that rule with hatred. We're here for you. We're extending tax credits for those that come home to the Golden State. Choose freedom. Choose [California].''
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