Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed a bill that hikes the required surety bond for talent agencies to $50,000 from $10,000.
Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Los Angeles), who authored SB 184, said in a statement Monday that the legislation has been designed to counter a growing trend of artists suffering financial losses at the hands of agents who go out of business and declare bankruptcy — taking with them the wages they owe their clients.
Murray, a former WMA agent, wrote the legislation on behalf of the Screen Actors Guild. Agencies are required to post the surety bond with the State Labor Commission prior to issuance or renewal of a license.
“SB 184 will provide realistic protections for actors and others who are represented by talent agents,” said Pamm Fair, SAG’s deputy national exec director. “While the vast majority of agents are law-abiding advocates for creative artists, the occasional flight-by-night companies have too often left SAG members holding the empty bag.”