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Governor Rod Blagojevich, solely responsible for Illinois' latest starring role in the national media, today signed into law an increase in the state subsidy for movie and television production, including commercials. The Illinois film "tax credit" is growing by 50 percent, jumping from 20 percent to 30 percent for local expenditures on goods and services, including wages. And there will be an additional 15 percent credit on wages paid employees who live in areas of "high poverty or high unemployment."
A "sunset provision," requiring annual renewal by the legislature has been dropped, making the subsidy permanent unless action is taken to cancel it.
A statement released by the governor's office claims the film industry "made more than 26,500 hires in Illinois" in 2007, but doesn't say anything about the duration of those gigs. (How long does it take to shoot a commercial?) Film industry folk and their friends who've contributed to Blago's campaigns include Blair Hull, whose former wife, Brenda Sexton, landed a stint as head of the Illinois Film Office.