Code Section Group

Government Code - GOV

TITLE 2. GOVERNMENT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA [8000 - 22980]

  ( Title 2 enacted by Stats. 1943, Ch. 134. )

DIVISION 3. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT [11000 - 15986]

  ( Division 3 added by Stats. 1945, Ch. 111. )

PART 4.7. BUSINESS AND TOURISM [13995 - 13998.12]

  ( Part 4.7 added by Stats. 2003, Ch. 229, Sec. 1.5. )

CHAPTER 1.5. California Welcome Centers [13995.150 - 13995.155]
  ( Chapter 1.5 added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 296, Sec. 1. )

13995.150.
  

The Legislature finds and declares that a statewide network of visitor information centers, to be known as California Welcome Centers, that are readily accessible to and recognizable by tourists, would encourage tourism in California and provide benefits to the state economy.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 296, Sec. 1. Effective August 25, 2004.)

13995.151.
  

For the purpose of establishing and enhancing a statewide network of California Welcome Centers, the Office of Tourism shall perform the following functions and activities:

(a) Designate a statewide network of California Welcome Centers to be operated by one or more entities that include, but are not limited to, convention centers and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, local governments, state government, federal government, or private entities. The Office of Tourism may designate California Welcome Centers through the solicitation of offers to negotiate or proposals from interested entities. Only an entity that applies for designation as a California Welcome Center may be so designated by the Office of Tourism. Criteria for designation shall include, but not be limited to, accessibility, proximity to tourist attractions, size, appearance, and maintenance. The Office of Tourism may limit the number of designated California Welcome Centers within any geographic area of the state if necessary to prevent an excessive density of centers.

(b) Establish requirements for the operation of a designated California Welcome Center. These requirements shall be included in the written agreement with the operating entity and shall require, at a minimum, that the entity operate at hours convenient to visitors and display visitor information produced by government entities at no cost to those entities. The requirements may vary according to local conditions and needs. An agreement between the state and the operating entity pursuant to this section shall not be construed as an agreement for the provision of services to the state, or by the state. Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude a California Welcome Center from displaying visitor information produced by a tourism-related trade association or any other appropriate entity.

(c) Designate a logo for California Welcome Centers. The words “California Welcome Center” and the name of the location of the center, as designated by the Office of Tourism, shall be displayed prominently on the exterior of any California Welcome Center.

(d) Consult with the Department of Transportation in the design and placement of California Welcome Center highway signs to ensure that the design and placement of the highway signs are reasonably consistent with state and federal standards.

(e) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), prior to the costs being incurred, collect fees from any entity operating a California Welcome Center in an amount sufficient to cover the costs incurred by the state in administering this section. However, the Department of Transportation may charge centers directly for its initial and ongoing costs and fees related to highway sign production, construction, maintenance, and permitting, pursuant to Section 13995.152.

(2) Fees collected by the Office of Tourism pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be deposited in the Welcome Center Fund, which is hereby established in the State Treasury, to be available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the office to cover its costs in implementing this chapter.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), the office may, for the first 90 days after the effective date of this chapter, incur costs in administering its provisions prior to the collection of fees as described in paragraph (1). These costs shall be reimbursed by the appropriation of funds from the Welcome Center Fund.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 296, Sec. 1. Effective August 25, 2004.)

13995.152.
  

The Department of Transportation shall, to the maximum extent feasible, install and maintain California Welcome Center highway signs when requested by the Office of Tourism.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 296, Sec. 1. Effective August 25, 2004.)

13995.153.
  

Costs associated with the ongoing maintenance and operation of centers shall be borne by the entity operating a California Welcome Center.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 296, Sec. 1. Effective August 25, 2004.)

13995.154.
  

Every entity of state government shall cooperate with the Office of Tourism to further the provisions of this chapter.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 296, Sec. 1. Effective August 25, 2004.)

13995.155.
  

If the Office of Tourism drafts regulations to implement this chapter, the office shall submit the regulations to the California Tourism Commission for the commission’s review prior to the adoption of the regulations.

(Added by Stats. 2004, Ch. 296, Sec. 1. Effective August 25, 2004.)

GOVGovernment Code - GOV