A bill aimed at expanding tax credits to help keep movie productions in California was approved unanimously by the state Assembly on Wednesday.

The California Film and Television Job Retention and Promotion Act of 2014, introduced by Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) and Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), now heads to the state Senate, though a cap on how much the tax credits would be has yet to be set.

Between 2004 and 2012, the state lost more than 16,000 film and TV industry jobs to other states, resulting in more than $1.5 billion in lost wages and economic activity, according to figures from the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since 2009 when the tax credit act was originally approved, it has prevented as many as 51,000 jobs from leaving California.

"I remember when our communities lost all the good aerospace jobs," said Gatto in a statement. "Losing major employers really harms local families and our state economy. This effort is a rare example of government taking proactive steps to ensure well-paying jobs stay in our communities."

-- Arin Mikailian, arin.mikailian@latimes.com

Follow on Twitter: @ArinMikailian.

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