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State Incentive Funding Lowered to $5 Million
(released 4/29/2008)

The Don Davis Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act which was passed last year has gone through the budgetary wringer like most legislation this legislative session. The State of Florida is expecting a $1 billion shortfall this year. Even with Governor Charlie Crist's pledge of $30 million, which is an increase over the $25 million funding of last year, the Florida House and Senate have both allocated $5 million to the incentive bill for 2008-2009.

There is much concern amongst the local film workers regarding an addition to the actual language of the bill. The legislature is now looking to appropriate $1.5 of the $5M for festivals. The actual language is as follows:

"Of funds appropriated in fiscal year 2008-2009, $1.5 million shall be used for international cultural festival planning and programming that generates significant regional or statewide return on investment and uses existing state-owned cultural facilities."

It begs to ask if Epcot Center is a state-owned cultural facility and can its annual Food & Wine Festival get a piece of this pie.

This has already been passed by the Senate and is waiting on a vote by the House, which may happen today. The legislative session is scheduled to end Friday, May 2nd.

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