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Legislative Audit Commission Meeting

Evaluation Subcommittee

April 10, 2015

Members Present:

Representative Rick Hansen, Chair   
Representative Connie Bernardy
Senator Mary Kiffmeyer

Members Absent:

Senator Warren Limmer  

Other Legislators Present:

Representative Sondra Erickson    
Representative Duane Quam


Representative Rick Hansen called the Legislative Audit Commission Evaluation Subcommittee meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.  The purpose of the meeting was to release the evaluation, Minnesota Film and TV Board.

Representative Hansen introduced Jim Nobles, Legislative Auditor.  Mr. Nobles gave a brief statement about the Minnesota Film and TV Board evaluation and introduced Carrie Meyerhoff, the evaluation manager, to give a presentation.  Ms. Meyerhoff said that the Minnesota Film and TV Board is a private, nonprofit corporation that markets Minnesota to filmmakers, administers the film production jobs program (known as Snowbate), and maintains an online database of potential filming locations.  Snowbate provides a rebate, which equals 20 or 25 percent of production-related expenses, to film productions that meet eligibility criteria.  The evaluation recommended that the Legislature should (1) articulate its expectations of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, (2) clarify the purpose and focus of the state’s film production jobs program, (3) fund the film production jobs program at a level consistent with the purpose and focus, and (4) be more directive in the types of projects that funding should assist, if funding is increased. 

Representative Hansen invited Lucinda Winter, executive director of the Minnesota Film and TV Board, to address the subcommittee.  Ms. Winter thanked staff from the Office of the Legislative Auditor for their work on the evaluation.  She said the board is generally in agreement with the key findings and recommendations, but it feels that some of the findings need clarifying; specifically, (1) the board’s actions after receiving a $1 million appropriation from the Legacy Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund; (2) the assertion that Snowbate eligibility criteria may limit job creation and that one eligibility category was not clearly permitted by law; (3) the board’s grant reporting has been incomplete, inaccurate, and potentially misleading; and (4) the majority of productions certified for Snowbate reimbursement are unlikely to generate significant tourism for the state.

With no further business, Representative Hansen adjourned the meeting at 11:03 a.m.

Representative Rick Hansen, Chair

Shelly Watterud, Recording Secretary


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