Guam - Senator Tina Muna-Barnes has withdrawn and reintroduced her Guam Film Office Bill following concerns raised by local film producers that it could raise their costs.
A release from the Senator's office says that Bill #324 has been strengthened to exempt local companies from permit fees.
In the release, Senator Muna-Barnes explains that her original Bill would have exempted local production companies when read in harmony with the beginning of §50407. However, some interpreted the law differently and in order to ensure there is no doubt about the exemptions granted to Local Production Companies, the bill was withdrawn and re-introduced to strengthen that exemption language.
The release quotes Senator Muna-Barnes as saying "Without a Guam Film Office we can't protect the Guam brand as well as we should or regulate the way international film companies use our island. That is why I will continue to work with the public to get this done the right way."
Read Senator Muna-Barnes' release in FULL below:
“324 Withdrawn: Revised bill further strengthens exemption for local companies”
Hagåtña- October 09, 2011—Senator Tina Rose Muña issued the following letter to all media and constituents regarding Guam Film Office Legislation:
Hello and Hafa Adai,
First off, I would like to thank you for the input you have given me regarding Bill 324. I appreciate your contribution to the dialogue which my office first invited nearly three months ago. When read in harmony with the beginning of §50407, Bill 324 exempts local production companies. I understand that some very well-meaning people interpret the law differently and that is why I have withdrawn Bill 324 and introduced a bill that makes the Local Production Companies Exemption language even stronger.
Rarely is a bill perfect upon introduction. The legislative process, public input and reasonable debate serve to make any new idea better. The new measure strengthens the original local exemption language and was sent to the Clerk of the Guam Legislature late this afternoon. More than 90 days have gone by since I originally released this bill to the public and asked for ways to improve it. My introduction of language that strengthens the local exemption demonstrates that commitment. This bill was intended to help promote Guam as a film location and regulate international companies wishing to film on our island: The newly proposed language reads:
§50408.Local Production Companies Exempt. In addition to the General Exemptions authorized in §50407 of this act, the provisions of this Article and the rules, regulations, and requirements authorized herein shall not apply to or affect local production companies if:
1. The production company was incorporated in Guam
2. Principal owner(s) is a resident of Guam and has filed individual tax returns in Guam for period of at least (3) years.
3. The production company maintains its headquarters in Guam.
4. The production company is licensed to do business in Guam.
5. The daily operations of the production company are managed by a resident of Guam.
Without a Guam Film Office we can't protect the Guam brand as well as we should or regulate the way international film companies use our island. That is why I will continue to work with the public to get this done the right way.
I would like to personally invite you to meet with me and my committee to discuss any specific concerns you might have. I welcome any ideas you have on strengthening this bill. My hope is that through this process you will find the legislation to be fair and equitable to everyone including local artists, photographers, videographers, directors or any other local individual with an eye for creativity. Saina Ma’ase!
For more information please contact Chelsa Muna-Brecht with the Office of Senator Muña Barnes at 472-3455/6 or 777-4925.