As I hope you are all aware, our legislative push to enact the Performing Arts Equitable Payroll Fund is well underway in this new legislative session. Our new bill number is SB1116, and it is being authored by long-time small theatre lover Anthony Portantino — a senior member of the Senate. Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is our coauthor in the Assembly. And we understand that once we get out of our first committee, Senator Susan Rubio will be rejoining our coalition as another coauthor!
This year, TPSCA has upped its role — from grassroots coalition leader to the bill’s Sponsor. Actors Equity is also a CoSponsor. And the California Federation of Labor has promised its support — not only of the bill but of our “$300 million for 3 years” budget ask as well. Clearly, this is a more powerful team to be going out with; however, we still need loud, vibrant advocacy from our members, as well as from performing arts organizations across the state and all our patrons. It is critical that we receive the funding we are asking for, so that we can run the program for three years, gathering data on all the positive impacts over that period.
SO NOW OUR FIRST CALL TO ACTION!
We have been double referred in the Senate. That means before our bill comes to the Senate Floor for a vote, we will need to testify in front of two committees (both of which will need to vote us on.) The first is the Standing Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. (None of us quite knows why, but it probably has to do with the economic development component of our bill.)
LETTERS OF SUPPORT ARE DUE BY THIS MONDAY!
Organizations should submit letters on their letterhead. Individuals can just submit the letter. If you have time to personalize the letter, please do. If you don’t, that’s fine. This is largely a numbers game. But please submit at least one letter for your organization. If possible, please solicit individual members from within your organization and your patrons to upload individual letters too. I really hope we can send the message to Senator Portantino and this first committee that WE ARE STRONGER THAN EVER!
To SUBMIT YOUR SUPPORT LETTERS:
Here is the link to the B&P Committee page: https://sbp.senate.ca.gov
- On the Committee page, you will see the button SUBMIT POSITION LETTERS. When you click it, it will send you to the Position Letter Portal. This should look familiar to you from last year.
- You can use the same LOG IN from last year — or if you are new (WELCOME!) you can create an account.
- Once you Log In you will be on the Activity Page (you should see all your letters from last year)
- Under Activity (top left) you will see SUBMIT A LETTER. Click that.
- Then you need to select a bill. Choose SB1116 (NOT AB1116) and hit Search
- The bill will come up. Hit NEXT.
- Choose how you will Submit your Letter (as an Organization or as Yourself) — NOTE: You can submit the letter twice — once as an organization and once as yourself.
- Then Select the Committee your letter will go to: Business, Professions and Economic Development. Then hit NEXT.
- Your stance should be SUPPORT. And then you upload the letter.
It sounds like a lot of steps but it is really intuitively obvious as you go through it.
If you need help, do not hesitate to reach out to me or to one of the members of the legislative committee: Beatrice Casagran, Emmanuel Deleage, Elina de Santos, Leo Marks, Vanessa Stewart, Christopher Maikish, Teri Ball, and Mark Seldis.
REMEMBER, THESE LETTERS ARE DUE BY THIS COMING MONDAY. PLEASE GET YOURS IN TODAY OR OVER THE WEEKEND.
Finally, if you have not visited the new website for SB1116, you can check it out at EquitablePayrollFund.org.
A huge shout out to Greg Crafts for building the new site for us. While the site will still grow, you can already read the text of our new bill there, as well as a fact sheet put together by our new Communications Team. (This particular document was created by Christopher Maikish.)
If you wish to be listed as a SUPPORTER of this legislation on the website, please fill in the online form (on the website) or send us a message using the contact form at the bottom of the home page.
Thank you all very much.
- We’ll want folks to call in a week from Monday to testify in SUPPORT at the Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee hearing.
- Following the B&P Committee Hearing, we’ll be going to the Labor Committee. So there will be another letter to submit. And then that hearing on April 18.
Thank you all very much for your participation in this very important advocacy.
TPSCA Board President