Nik Rajkovic /

Michigan lawmakers are looking to replace the state’s previous film and digital media production incentive, which was eliminated in 2015.

Unlike the old tax rebate, the bipartisan legislation calls for a new credit to be issued as a transferable tax credit voucher, which would ensure the credit remains in the state.

"If we're serious about keeping our youth in the state of Michigan and growing our population, this is not the answer to all. I'm not trying to say it's a silver bullet, but it would definitely help if we want to keep our youth here at home," said Traverse City Republican John Roth, co-author of the bills.

Critics, like the Mackinac Institute's James Hohman, still argue that subsidizing the film industry so far has failed to bring financial returns to Michigan.

"Transparency rules about tax credits are far less than they are for direct expenditures," he said. "Michigan ought to consider doing direct expenditures if they're going to proceed with film subsidies."

The Michigan Film Industry Association anticipates studios will spend $6-8 billion if approved.