NC Senate wants only $10M in NC Film Grant

Well, we’ve been waiting to see what the Senate would do with film for their budget.  While the House gave $40M per fiscal year, the Senate wants to keep it at $10M.  That’s according to Sen. Harry Brown, who is speaking at budget outline press conference.

Now the House and Senate will battle it out to see what number we will actually get.

Jonathan Kappler says the NC Senate Appropriations subcommittees will meet at 4pm to review their portions of Senate budget. The whole budget will be posted tonight.
Stay Tuned.


NC House drops NCFilm Grant to $40M

A few hours ago, I got word that the initial proposal for $60M for the film grant has dropped to $40M in the latest version of the state’s two-year budget.   This is what we anticipated. What I can tell you is that it could have been worse.  Our concern at this point is what the Senate will do.  They are a much tougher sell, than the House, just like last session.  Best case scenario, they leave it alone and we get a $40M grant for a two year period.  But from what I am hearing, that is unlikely.  Still, I am hoping for the best. However, even with $40M the money won’t be enough for us to be as productive as we were in 2014, but it will put a lot of our crew members back to work.



NC FILM UPDATE: House Budget to be released.

According to Representative Chuck McGrady, a complete draft budget will go on-line at some point today. Then…

“When the budget is approved by the full Appropriations Committee, most likely on Tuesday, a new version of the budget will be available on-line. It will be that version that the House is expected to take up on Wednesday and Thursday (and hopefully not Friday).”  SEE MORE NOW

Then it’s off to the Senate.

I don’t know if we will get the $60+ million that was in the original bill from the House and Senate. We will see what the House comes up with. A few folks are also saying the Senate won’t be as tough on film as they were last session. Hopefully we will see some good numbers so we can get our crew back from other states, from unemployment and generate some cash-flow into our small businesses.

I’ll keep you posted!


This is statewide! Go gather up all the film supporters and job advocates in Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and everywhere in between.  Please SHARE this with everyone!

The Senate still has not confirmed whether or not they will be in a full session to discuss some serious matters at hand.  Have these 50 members  forgotten why they ran for the opportunity to represent us?  Meanwhile, while they continue to gavel in and gavel out with nothing on their calendar, over 25,000 people who live in North Carolina, are struggling with a decision to leave the state, layoff workers, file for unemployment, look for new ways to supplement their income or look for other employment which is already extremely difficult.  These are the folks that are affected by the film industry and others who work for companies that are depending on money that is waiting to be voted on.

The Senate MUST come together with the House and finish what they started.

Sen. Bill Rabon stood on that stage in Wilmington during the 2014 NC Film Rally and pledged his devotion and loyalty to the NC Film Industry. More than a 1,000 of us witnessed it.  We appreciate the safety net that he has given us, however, we all know it’s not a sustainable solution.  Let me remind you that I have not posted a new production that is coming to NC in quite a while. We should have had at least one but more like 3 announcements by this time.

On the outskirts of the budget that has already been signed, waiting patiently inside S763, is Ted Davis’ Amendment, a lower Tier 1, one year extension of the film incentives. We all know we cannot do business with the Grant.

Without the Senate taking session, here’s what else is on the line.

  • Two proposed manufacturing plants and their 1,400 jobs that the Commerce Department is seeking will not come.
  • The EPA will close the plant in Canton laying off 1,200 workers.
  • The elimination of a major recruitment tool, JDIG.  This will effectively take NC out of the job recruitment business for one year. If past performance is a guide, this will cost 6,000 jobs just in the recruits the Secretary is engaged with now.

8,600 jobs. Add film in the equation and you get a total of 12,000 that are at stake.

It is up to us, North Carolina, to ask our Senate leaders to go back to session and do what they promised to do when they got elected. Put People BEFORE Politics. Create and sustain jobs.

Please contact your Senators NOW!

Be nice!  Be Polite!  Do NOT give them any reason to say film supporters are crazy lunatics! And please use your own words.  Here’s the gist of it:

“Please, get your team back into session. Jobs are on the line. The job creation legislation already approved by the House and Governor McCrory. We need 763, and my job will rely on Ted Davis’ amendment to extend the film incentives.”

Wilmington Area: 

Bill Rabon is the co-chair of the finance committee. He has a seat at the big table, and he has the power to sway the Senate leadership to get back into session.

Bill Rabon.

Phone: (919) 733-5963

Asheville area:

Tom Apodaca. You guys have more than film on the line for you.  Including 1,200 jobs at risk in Canton, NC alone.

(919) 733-5745


Charlotte area: 

(919) 733-5955

(919) 715-8331

(919) 733-5655

(919) 733-7223

(919) 715-3050


Raleigh area:
(919) 733-5850

(919) 715-6400

(919) 733-5752


Greensboro  area: 

(919) 715-3042


Winston-Salem area:
(919) 733-7850


All of North Carolina: 

(919) 733-5708

Remind them why they ran for the opportunity to represent us. They speak for us.

All of North Carolina:


NC Politics 101: PART I – The General Assembly

Politics.  Government.  The most confusing conversation to have if you don’t have a Political Science degree.  And even then, I have heard from those in politics that have said in regards to this short session, “In all my years, I’ve never seen anything like it.”

When I blogged last week, I still received numerous calls and messages exclaiming, “I don’t understand.” and “I’m so confused!”  Yeah, no kidding.  So perhaps I can help with adding a little state government 101 to the blog.  Okay, here we go.  Let’s start with the basics.

We are dealing with two teams in the legislative branch:  The House and the Senate.  Now who are they, what are their differences, and what does each do?

Plain and simple, the Legislative Branch makes laws.  When you put the House and the Senate together, they are called the General Assembly.   Every two years, we vote them in and vote them out.

Although the state is already divided by counties, we are also divided by districts.  House members have theirs districts and the Senate has their own as well. Some members of the Senate, for example, represent five counties. And there are multiple House representatives in some counties as well.

The NC House has 120 folks on their team.  Right now we have 77 Republicans and 43 Democrats. They serve 2 year terms.  Each House member serves about 79,000 NC residents, folks like you and me, in their district.  They call us “constituents.” The head of the House is called The Speaker(of the House).   Right now the Speaker of the House is Thom Tillis.

The NC Senate has only 50 folks on their team.  Right now we have 31 Republicans and 19 Democrats. They serve 2 year terms.  Each Senate member serves about 190,000 constituents in their district.  The head of the Senate is called President Pro Tempore. Right now the Pres. Pro Temp is Phil Berger.

Now that being said, the Lieutenant Governor is President of the Senate and oversees the daily sessions. Currently, we have Dan Forest.  He was elected by us, not the Senate, for a four year term. He doesn’t vote in the Senate unless it is to break a tie. (Like what Bev Perdue did in 2005 to create our state lottery).

Besides that, their is not much difference between the two.  The General Assembly is “bicameral.”  That’s just a fancy way of saying it takes both the House and the Senate to agree in order for things to become law.  Of course the Governor needs to sign it into law after the General Assembly agrees (more in another blog about that).

There are two main sessions that take place with the folks that represent us.  The Long Session and the Short Session.

The Long Session happens during odd-numbered years.  It starts in January and can go all the way into the summer months.   This is where the state budget is crafted.

Right now, we are experiencing the Short Session.  Not so short, right?  A short session is always during  even-numbered years, as in now, 2014, and usually the General Assembly meets from May to July.  As you are experiencing, it can go waaayyyy longer.  The short session happens so that our legislators can make tweaks and fixes to the budget which they wrote up during the Long Session.  We will be back in the Long Session this coming January.

Members of the House and Senate will change as the general elections are on Tuesday, November 4th.  Here is a link to the board of elections with 100 counties listed.  Click on your county and visit their web site to see who is running. GO TO BOARD OF ELECTIONS NOW  (If you haven’t registered to vote yet, the deadline is around October 10th.  Get on it!)


Any questions?  Comment below!

Is Dr. Ernie Ward, Candidate for NC Senate District 8, in support of the NC Film Incentives?

Sheila BrothersAs politicians put their name in the hat, I am closely paying attention to those who are FOR and those who are AGAINST the NC Film Incentives.  I am also keenly aware of those who do not respond to my questions and ignore them.  So far we know Elizabeth Redenbaugh who is running for NC State Senate, District 9, is a huge supporter and is in agreement with ending the sunset, and putting the film incentives permanently in place. Now that Ernie Ward has put his name in for District 8 (Pender, Brunswick, Bladen), it’s time to ask the big question.  Here is our conversation via Twitter:

SHEILA: Ernie Ward, let’s talk NC Film…Are you 100% for the NC Film Incentives and do you want them permanently in place?


ERNIE WARD: The film industry has been a huge economic driver for the state as a whole and SE NC in particular, pumping hundreds of millions into NC annually. This is clearly due to our competitive film incentives. As currently structured, film incentives create jobs and offer a huge return on investment. I think we need to continue to compete to bring this valuable industry to NC using all tools at our disposal. Thanks!

SHEILA: Are you for changing the film incentives or keeping them the way they are?

ERNIE WARD: Everything can and should be improved… for the foreseeable future I don’t advocate any changes. These incentives are bringing jobs and revenue to our area.

SHEILA: I see no mention of film incentives on your site, is there a reason for that? Film employs 25,000 jobs across the state.

ERNIE WARD: Well…let me file for candidacy first… website, social media all evolving. Thanks for that suggestion! I’m eager to listen!


Fair enough.  We will keep a close eye on what progress follows on his web site and social media. It is clear that Dr. Ward needs to hear from us.  If you live in District 8 (see map below),  let him know how important NC Film is to you.  If you have a follow up question, as far as we can tell, Dr. Ward is open to questions.  Find him on Twitter, or go to his web site and contact him with your own questions.  Ernie Ward will be starting his campaign to seek election this Saturday, February 22 at 3:30 pm at the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach.  Please attend and ask the questions in person. Again, only if you live in District 8.

TO MY NC COMMUNITY: We need you all to ask the questions and get the answers.  Please DO NOT accept vague answers.  That’s simply not good enough.  Whoever is running in your district  needs to be as transparent as possible in order to get our vote!  Let your voices be heard.  Get the answers!

 photo NorthCarolinaSenateMap_zpsf3ad026e.png

For reference these are the 50 state senate districts. You can find more detailed maps here.