A bill introduced today aims to arm New Jersey municipalities with the right to regulate reality TV shows.
Dubbed the "Snookiville Law," the bill introduced today by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-12) would allow towns to impose conditions on shows such as the "Snooki & JWoww" production that began filming in Manchester in August or the previous installments of "Jersey Shore" that filmed in Seaside Heights and Toms River.
“The popularity of MTV’s 'Jersey Shore' and other reality shows can attract crowds to a community,” Dancer said in a news release. “That can be great for local businesses and a costly challenge to a town’s ability to control crowds and protect public safety."
The bill would allow towns to adopt licensing ordinances or impose certain regulations on the production, such as requiring producers to ensure public safety by paying for an additional police presence, according to the release.
When Dancer announced the planned bill on Sept. 14, Manchester Mayor Michael Fressola said at the time that so far, the "Snooki & JWoww" production has caused no issues in town. While the mayor said that he does not feel the state law is "totally necessary," he has no objection to it.
"[Dancer] feels that in some communities there may be a need for it," Fressola said.
But in Manchester, the police department has not been taxed by the production which is expected to film into October, Fressola said, as officers complete routine patrols through the area.
"To date, they've been very good neighbors," Fressola said. "I've heard nothing but good comments from the neighbors."
Filming of "Snooki & JWoww" was initially rejected by Toms River and Point Beach, and 495 Productions pulled out of Morristown to finally settle down at a home in Manchester. Although Manchester residents report that the stars have been relatively quiet neighbors, the Jersey Shore cast developed a reputation for causing trouble in Seaside during the filming of their reality series, which concluded this summer.
"[The law] will help local officials make sure that the attention reality stars like Snooki and JWoww bring to their town benefits local residents and businesses,” Dancer said in the release.
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