Democratic lawmakers say a relatively minor provision in their budget-balancing bill — an incentive to lure Hollywood filmmakers to Minnesota — could reap millions for the state.
The Legislature previously has pushed for a film production tax credit, but the House proposes a $500,000 grant this year.
House Majority Leader Tony Sertich, a theater and film buff, defended the grant during a committee debate Thursday. The Chisholm Democrat said legislators should consider the potential return on investment.
"All they do is come in and spend money," Sertich said of filmmakers. "It’s actually going to stimulate our budget instead of being a drag on it."
Lawmakers noted that the new film "Leatherheads," inspired by the 1920s-era Duluth Eskimos professional football team and starring George Clooney and Renee Zellweger, was shot in the Carolinas, not Minnesota.