Concerning access of broadcasters to a geographic area subject to the declaration of a national, state, or local emergency (Chapman)

Authorizes a state or local governmental agency to allow a first informer broadcaster access to an area affected by an emergency. Prohibits an emergency service agency from seizing a vehicle, fuel, food, water, or other essentials in the possession of the broadcaster.

The following provisions are removed from the bill: (1) the requirement that the Military Department Emergency Management Division authorize a private entity to establish a program for certifying first informer broadcasters; and (2) the requirement that state and local governments allow certified first informer broadcasters access to areas affected by emergencies in some circumstances.

The prohibition against seizing certain materials is modified by specifying that those items may not be seized when brought into an area affected by an emergency or disaster.

Liability protection is added for a federal, state, or local agency facilitating the access of a first informer broadcaster into an area affected by an emergency or disaster.

Hearing Date: Friday, February 16, 2018 -- 8:00 am

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