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Ohio Court Reporters Association Defeats Potentially Damaging Bill

July 14, 2011

Language would have been extremely damaging for officials

On June 30, the Ohio Court Reporters Association's significant grassroots effort to remove potentially destructive language from the must-pass budget bill officially ended in success. Effectively utilizing their grassroots, a newly hired lobbyist, and NCRA's Government Relations Department, OCRA seemingly overcame the impossible to remove language that would include dramatic changes to the Ohio Revised Code, including requiring reporters to provide free electronic copies of transcripts, redefining what court reporters can charge for copies, and other negative provisions.

In early May, OCRA's leadership heard about these changes and organized a strong grassroots movement to lobby the legislators to remove the language. They contacted NCRA's Government Relations Department who was active in drafting oral and written testimony, developing a legislative strategy, and assisting with constituent contacts. After a lengthy and laborious legislative battle, OCRA, as well as every official court reporter around the country, came out on top.

"OCRA learned of these proposed changes when court administrators informed their chief official reporters, and the relationship we had developed over the years with the Ohio Judicial Conference proved to be our greatest strength in this process, proving that building good business relationships is a vital component to this profession," proclaimed OCRA President Sue Horak, RDR. "We are extremely proud of the response from our membership, which was immediate and exceptional, both financially as well as in lobbying anyone and everyone necessary. The assistance we received from NCRA's Government Relations Department was invaluable, especially in drafting the wording for both the written and oral testimony and developing a strategy."

OCRA plans on further collaboration with the Ohio Judicial Conference as well as the parties who proposed the language change so that court reporters will play an integral part in any future revisions to the Ohio Revised Code that affect the role of the official court reporter.

OCRA's success has reminded our affiliates that no legislative battle is too steep to even attempt and win! Through their efforts, OCRA created strong contacts both within the legislature and outside, which will serve them well as they seek to reinforce the role of the official court reporter in the coming legislative sessions. NCRA's Government Relations Department stands ready and willing to assist our affiliate associations in whatever legislative challenges that may arise.

Please contact the Government Relations Department at govrelations@ncrahq.org with any additional questions, comments, or concerns.