California governor Gavin Newsom is backing legislation that will extend the state’s film and television tax program as an incentive to draw productions from anti-abortion states.
If passed, the bill will provide $1.65 billion or $330 million per year in tax credits to film, TV, and other media productions through 2030. This news comes after the Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, with Newsom specifically targeting productions in states that have passed abortion-restricting laws, such as Georgia, whose higher tax credits have pulled productions away from California.
“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. “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.”
Just earlier this week, Newsom signed an open letter to Hollywood filmmakers urging them to film and conduct business in California: “Today more than ever, you have a responsibility to take stock of your values — and those of your employees — when doing business in those states,” he wrote. “So to those in power to make decision about where to film, where to hire, where to open new offices, we in California say: Walk the walk.”
After Roe v. Wade’s overturning, Newsom signed legislation to protect patients and health care providers from civil liability for performing or receiving abortions. He also put in place an executive order preventing any medical information from being shared by state agencies in response to investigations brought by other states to restrict abortion access. Newsom also dedicated $200 million in the state’s budget to go towards funding for reproductive health care.
Outside of California, media companies including Disney, Netflix, Prime Video, Paramount, and Comcast have all pledged to reimburse travel expenses for employees seeking abortions and other reproductive health care.