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Pols to mull agency regs

Hearing to take place Sept. 28

HOLLYWOOD — State Senate President Pro Tem John Burton has set Sept. 28 for a key legislative hearing on regulation of talent agents and personal managers.

The confab will start at 9 a.m. and take place at the State Office Building in downtown Los Angeles. Burton, who will chair, promised the hearing five months ago when he announced the creation of a select committee on enforcement of the Talent Agency Act.

Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild have insisted that the hearing would have to be held before the Guild resumes negotiations over the agents’ demand to loosen financial-interest rules. SAG’s national board voted last month to endorse reforms to toughen the Talent Agency Act, including broadening the definition of who has standing to file complaints; toughening penalties for violations; and repealing the “safe harbor” provision of the act, which allows managers to work with agents.

State Sens. Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica) and Jim Battin (R-Poway) are also members of the hearing panel. Richard Dreyfuss and Kevin Spacey have been tapped co-chairs of a SAG panel to oversee the legislative hearings.

SAG and the Assn. of Talent Agents have been in a contentious debate over the agents’ desire that the guild ease its rules barring agencies from owning or being owned by production or distribution companies. A 15-month termination period on the rules began last October; negotiations broke down less than three weeks later.

The rules will expire in January.

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