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Pataki Vetoes Agent Bill

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) – New York Governor George Pataki has vetoed a bill that could allow managers in the state to act as agents and procure employment for their clients, but without any of the restrictions or state oversight that agents face.

The bill was sent to Pataki for his signature on August 8th, prompting a flurry of lobbying by Hollywood unions, for and against the measure.

Pataki vetoed the bill, citing concerns over assertions that the bill could result in “unscrupulous” employment agencies providing employment-related functions outside the protection of the law, according to Variety.

New York legislators had approved the measure to limit lawsuits in the state by excluding managers of models from regulations governing employment agencies and by clarifying the definition of “theatrical employment agency.”

The National Conference of Personal Managers sent out urgent alerts to its members to start an email and phone campaign to push the governor to sign the bill. The NCOPM warned that “adoption of this measure will allow personal managers located anywhere to do business in the state of New York and not have to be licensed under the ‘Theatrical Employment Agency’ act.

Opponents of the bill included AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Directors Guild of America, who said the provision would remove language allowing managers to be exempt from regulation if they “only incidentally” procure employment.

According to Variety, DGA president Michael Apted issued a statement supporting the governor's decision, which read, “The governor's veto today underscores his continuing strong support of the entertainment industry and his understanding that protecting directors, actors and writers is important to keeping film and television production vibrant, healthy and contributing to the economy of New York state.” –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers