‘Keeping the Score in CA’ Rally Highlights Good Jobs for Musicians Via Tax Credit Legislation

“Keeping the Score in CA” kickoff concert & media event outside of Los Angeles City Hall on Aug. 19, 2017. (Photos: Linda A. Rapka)

“Momentum is strong, and we can’t let up now!” That was the dominant message on Saturday, Aug. 19 at the “Keeping the Score in CA” free concert and rally at city hall where a crowd of 150 gathered to hear music, politicians and union leaders push for the AB 1300, the music scoring tax credit that will help keep good jobs in California.

“When you look at the overall state budget, the value of retaining these jobs here is of significant state interest,” Assembly Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D-57th), told the crowd who gathered to hear performances by musicians including Rickey Minor (bandleader for the 69th Annual Emmy Awards whose credits also include “The Tonight Show” and “American Idol”) and Siddhartha Khosla (composer for NBC’s “This Is Us”).

Related: Variety – Musicians Union Members Stage Free Concert to Bring Scoring Jobs Back to L.A.

“You’re going to see a lot of people on your side, but it’s just going to take time as to why the current credit isn’t enough, why we need to expand it and why we need to do it right away.”

That means keep the heat on, urged Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-54th). “Go to KeepingtheScoreCA.org  and sign the petition. Write Majority Leader Calderon and myself, write Governor Brown. Use social media, call our offices and express concern. Send personal letters. Those personal narratives will make a huge difference.”

The stakes are high for our California community of musical professionals. Although the exact dollar amount has not yet been finalized, Calderon used an example of a $120-million allocation. “That’s equivalent to about four-plus thousand high-wage union jobs in the state. The numbers are not insignificant,” he explained. Calderon, who introduced the AB 1300 measure in April, emphasized the point of the tax credit “is not so much to incentivize the studio, the payer, but to benefit the payee, the musicians.”

Also present to lend support were Assemblyman James Cooper (D-9th), who chairs the budget subcommittee and is a pivotal vote in passing the measure, Alliance for Women Film Composers president Lolita Ritmanis, L.A. County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Rusty Hicks, American Federation of Musicians Local 47 president John Acosta, Recording Musicians Association International president Marc Sazer, and Recording Musicians Association Los Angeles President Steve Dress.