OLYMPIA – Note to grade school students planning a civics trip to the state Capitol during the session: You never know who you’ll see here. The governor. Legislators. Lobbyists.
Supporters of a state tax break for companies that film in Washington brought actors dressed as the undead from “Z-Nation” to Olympia on Tuesday, where they filmed a commercial on the Capitol campus, mugged for legislators and curious onlookers, and waved at children when the standard tour of the Legislative Building and Temple of Justice took youngsters past a makeshift set.
Generally speaking, the children weren’t frightened in the least by the gobs of ersatz blood, fake open wounds and death-pallor makeup the actors sported. Most just waved and smiled.
Reaction from state officials was somewhat mixed to the bill the zombies are backing, which would phase in an increase for the film incentive program.
Gov. Jay Inslee, at a morning news conference, said he thought the current tax break helps the film industry in Washington “to some degree” and mentioned he stopped by a set for “Z-Nation” last summer during a visit to Spokane. But it’s difficult to think of many expansions of current tax breaks with all the demands on the 2015-17 operating budget, he added.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said the current tax break for film companies has some tangible benefits. But so do tax incentives for agriculture, server farms, high-tech research and technology, and aluminum, he added.
“We’re going to consider all of them,” Schoesler said.
Zombie sightings are not as common in Olympia as Spokane, but Tuesday was not the first time people dressed in their best undead duds and makeup made an appearance in and around the building. In 2011, a group protesting cuts to social service programs dressed as zombies and danced to a rewritten version of “The Monster Mash” on the Capitol steps as the Legislature was wrestling with the operating budget in special session.
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