Louisiana Advocacy Day
Louisiana Advocacy Day Continues The Recording Academy’s State Action
The Recording Academy hosted its annual Louisiana Music Advocacy Day at the State Capitol on Tuesday, June 1.
Part of this celebration was purely musical: GRAMMY-nominated singer Tarriona “Tank” Ball of Tank and the Bangassang the National Anthem in both the House and Senate chambers. Another part was all business: Members of the Academy held a number of key meetings with legislators, along with meetings with representatives from the Louisiana Economic Development’s Entertainment Office and the Office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
Attendees representing the Academy included Ball, Sean Ardoin (Memphis Chapter President, GRAMMY nominee), Michelle Colon, Kate Duncan, Kate Durio, Justin Garner, Charles Gaspard, Terrell Griffin, Kelly Love Jones, Quiana Lynell (Memphis Chapter Governor), Sherri McConnell, Tavia Osbey, Paul Sammarco, GRAMMY-winner Terrance Simien, and the Academy’s Reid Wick.
The event marks only the latest effort from the Recording Academy in supporting music industry-friendly legislation in Louisiana. During this session, the Academy pursued the opportunity to educate the large number of newly-elected state legislators on the proven and growing value the local music industry brings to the state’s economy. The Academy also took the next step of formalizing its first state-level Advocacy & Public Policy initiative, the GRAMMY Advocacy Louisiana Fund.
One of the immediate goals of the Academy remains passing House Bill 445 into law, which would make important changes to the Sound Recording/Quality Music Company (QMC) incentives program. The QMC incentive, which the Academy helped pass in 2017, is a payroll tax incentive aimed at creating full-time permanent jobs in Louisiana’s music industry; the current law needs some tweaks for it to truly be useful in achieving the goal of growing the Louisiana music industry.
The Academy worked with Rep. Ryan Bourriaque (Abbeville) to introduce H.B. 445, which would improve the QMC, and has now successfully passed the House and Senate. The House and Senate versions of the bill are currently being reconciled in committee. From there, it will go to Governor John Bel Edwards to become law and mark a significant accomplishment for the Academy’s Memphis Chapter and the Louisiana music community.
While support from the Recording Academy Advocacy team located in Washington, D.C., the Academy and its members have championed creator-friendly legislation on the state-level for years. Earlier this year, the Academy’s Texas Chapter participated in their own advocacy day.
The Academy has also landed recent state victories for California creators. Throughout 2019 and into 2020, the Recording Academy and its members effectively negotiated an amendment to Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) exempting the music ecosystem from the bill, which Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law on September 4, 2020. Currently, the Academy is also working in California to pass the FAIR Act, which would ensure that artists across the state are freed from excessive restrictions that stifle their ability to earn and create. The bill is currently in the state assembly for consideration, and the Academy will continue to work with key stakeholders to advance the legislation in appropriate committees.
Across the country, music advocates can rest assured that the Recording Academy is making key steps at the state-level to bolster local music ecosystems and protect local music creators. From Sacramento, to Austin, to Baton Rouge, and beyond, the Academy is championing the causes of music makers everywhere!