PA 16-200—sSB 305

Commerce Committee

Transportation Committee

AN ACT ESTABLISHING A STATE FILM PERMITTING PROCESS

SUMMARY: This act makes the Department of Economic and Community Development's (DECD) Office of Film, Television, and Digital Media (“office”) the statewide point of contact for all film, television, and digital media producers requesting permission to:

1. conduct film production activities (“film”) on state-owned property, including state roads and highways, railroads and train stations, state forests and parks, airports, seaports, hospitals, and all public higher education institution campuses and

2. use any other state-owned real or personal property, except courthouses and judicial branch facilities, for film production.

Under the act, DECD may issue state film permits to people seeking to film on state-owned property. The act specifies the information that the permit must contain, such as insurance coverage requirements. Presumably, under existing law, people seeking to film on state property go directly to the state agency controlling the property. Under the act, state film permit holders must still obtain permission to film from the controlling agency, but must first present their permit.

Existing law requires anyone seeking to film on property owned or controlled by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to obtain a DOT filming permit (CGS 13a-259). Under the act, people seeking a DOT filming permit must first obtain a state film permit. The act also eliminates a requirement that DOT determine, and specify on the DOT filming permit, the insurance coverage a permit holder must obtain.

Lastly, the act requires (1) DECD to develop guidelines to work with agencies to implement the film permitting process and (2) agencies to make reasonable efforts to work with the office.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

DECD-ISSUED STATE FILM PERMIT

The act allows DECD to issue state film permits, on a form it designates, to anyone seeking to film on state-owned property. The state film permit must (1) identify the person requesting to film on state property and (2) indicate that the holder has provided documentation to DECD that substantiates the holder's ability to conduct indemnified film production activities.

Obtaining Permission to Film from State Agencies

A person who holds a state film permit must present it to the state agency, authority, or institution in control of the state property when seeking permission to film on the property. After the holder presents the permit, the agency may authorize him or her to film on the property. The act also makes a change to allow DOT to issue filming permits only after a person presents his or her state film permit.

Insurance Coverage and Liability

The act requires state film permits to specify the insurance coverage the holder must obtain, as determined by DECD and the state's director of Insurance and Risk Management, with the state named as the additional insured. It also eliminates a similar requirement that the DOT commissioner, in consultation with the state's director of Insurance and Risk Management, determine the insurance coverage a DOT filming permit holder must obtain and specify the coverage on the DOT filming permit.

Under the act, no liability accrues to the state or any of its agencies or employees for any injury or damages to people or property that may directly or indirectly result from a state film permit holder's production activities on state-owned property.

GUIDELINES AND AGENCY COOPERATION

Existing law requires DECD to formulate and propose guidelines, forms, or model local ordinances to state agencies and municipalities for creating a “one-stop permitting process” for using state or municipal roads and highways or other state or municipal property for film production activities (CGS 32-1p).

Under the act, DECD must develop guidelines to work with agencies to implement the act's film permitting process. The guidelines must include:

1. an agency contact at the office for filing applications and obtaining information on the permit's requirements;

2. the identification of each individual within each agency who is a point of contact for an agency permit application;

3. a single, coordinated production activity form, including an equipment checklist and roster;

4. a process by which the office may forward permit applications to other state agencies on behalf of applicants; and

5. a fee structure, at the DECD commissioner's discretion.

The guidelines must also include a mandatory pre-application review process to reduce permitting issues or conflicts by providing guidance to applicants on:

1. information required for permit approval or authorization from the relevant state agencies;

2. specifications for desired on-site production and production-related activities, site suitability, and limitations; and

3. steps applicants can take to ensure expeditious permit application.

The act allows the office, at the DECD commissioner's request, to ask any state agency to provide information and assistance as may be necessary to expedite the permitting process the act creates. Each state agency officer or employee must make reasonable efforts to cooperate with the office.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

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