Gov holds Breaking Bad bill hostage for teacher pay raises
Posted at: 03/14/2013 6:10 PM
Updated at: 03/14/2013 6:18 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Gov. Susana Martinez isn't just promising to veto the budget and call lawmakers back for a special session, she's also putting the "Breaking Bad" bill on the chopping block.
Movie and television people thought they had a deal, but the deal has gone sour for the bill named after the famous TV series shot and set in Albuquerque. The bill, if inacted, would sweeten rebate incentives for movies and TV series shot in the state.
"It is in trouble," Martinez said. "The reason it's in trouble is I refuse to put Hollywood before our kids."
Lawmakers did not put pay raises for outstanding teachers in the budget bill, they did not pass the keystone of her school reform package, and they did not pass the tax cuts the Governor wanted for businesses
"There is no way that that is the only economic development package that they've sent me - to increase subsidies to Hollywood," Martinez said. " They're not making sure that we're fully funding our children in school and making sure that we have reading coaches and making sure that we're honoring our best teachers."
The " Breaking Bad" bill would bump the rebate for TV series shot here to 30 cents for every dollar spent in the state. That's up from 25 cents. The movie rebate would stay at 25 cents, with a $50 million annual cap on the whole thing. People in the industry say the Governor is wrong to call it a subsidy or a giveaway.
"This idea, this single-entry bookkeeping, that we're putting out $50 million a year to the film industry is frankly ridiculous," said Jon Hendry, business agent for IATSE, the film technicians union. "We bring more money in than we spend on these film incentives. This idea that it's costing the state of New Mexico a penny is absurd."
Meanwhile, lawmakers over in Arizona are looking at New Mexico's incentives while they consider reviving them in their state. Arizona let them expire in 2010 and the film and TV business just dried up and blew away.