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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Even Zombies May Not Scare Inslee Into Expanding Film Tax Credit

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Washington's motion picture industry films a zombie fight on the steps of the state capitol as part of a campaign for an expanded industry tax credit.

A cast of characters from Washington’s TV and film industry descended on Olympia Tuesday seeking an expanded tax credit for the film industry.

On the steps of the Washington Capitol, a gun battle with zombies played out before the cameras. It was inspired by Z Nation, a TV show shot in Spokane. The message of this scene: lawmakers should expand Washington’s current TV and film industry tax credit to $10 million by 2019.

One of the actors said, “It’s jobs, man.”

Inside the capitol, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee said, zombies aside, it’s a serious issue.

“It does create a lot of jobs,” he admitted. But Inslee said it’s also a matter of priorities. Expanding tax breaks for the film industry is a tough sell given the state is in contempt of court over school funding.

“But I’m open to ideas,” the governor said. “So I’ll look forward to talking with our zombie friends.”

The zombies are re-energized. They just fought off another legislative proposal -- one that aimed to axe the film industry tax credit altogether.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."