NCRA’s Government Relations Department actively monitors legislation around the country that will affect the court reporting profession. Below is a list of current legislation being debated nationwide that NCRA is monitoring.
State legislative bills
California AB 1631 — This bill would prohibit a shorthand reporting service corporation or its owners, managers, or employees, from giving or otherwise providing cash or cash equivalents, including gift cards, for marketing purposes. It also applies to people or entities employing shorthand reporters or contracting with shorthand reporters for services. This bill also prohibits legislative interpretation to limit a shorthand reporting service corporation from entering into long-term or multi-case contracts with attorneys, law firms, or third parties. NCRA Opinion Letter addressing AB 1631
California AB 1660 — This bill would authorize an individual or entity to engage in the business of providing or arranging for court reporters for the transcription of court proceedings if conditions are met. These conditions include that an individual is licensed by the board as a court reporter, that an entity is a shorthand reporting corporation, or that the individual or entity is registered as a court reporter provider.
California SB 484 — This bill makes it unlawful for a person who is employed by who or independently contracts with an entity that arranges for depositions to offer any gift or incentive associated with a proceeding being reported or transcribed.
California AB 1450 — This bill requires that all transcripts be delivered in electronic format to any court, party, or person entitled to the transcript. Exceptions to this bill include: the transcript is requested to be delivered in paper form; the court lacks the technical ability to accept an electronic transcript and has received advance approval from the Judicial Council to only accept a transcript in paper form; or, until Jan. 1, 2020, an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore has not acquired the technology to submit a transcript in electronic form and has provided advance notice of this fact. The bill would also provide that a court or other entity is not allowed to require an official reporter or official reporter pro tempore to use a specific vendor or software.
Iowa S.S.B 1049 — This bill requires the Supreme Court to have authority over and supervise the Board of Examiners of Shorthand Reporters. It also states that if a shorthand reporter’s certification is placed in exempt status, the reporter may transcribe or certify a proceeding that was reported while the reporter was certified as an active shorthand reporter.
Mississippi H.B. 1215 — This bill allows youth courts to use court reporters in detention and shelter hearings and requires a complete record of all evidence to be stenographic reporting, by mechanical or electronic device, or by some combination of the two.
Missouri HB 597 — Legislation has been introduced in Missouri to clarify an existing statute. Rep. Joe Don McGaugh has introduced the House version, HB 597. The bill clarifies that the statutory rate of $3.50 (civil) and $2.60 (criminal) is for transcripts on appeal only. It also clarifies that the cost to prepare all other transcripts of testimony or proceedings shall be borne by the party who requests it and shall pay the court reporter.
Missouri SB 169 — Legislation has been introduced in Missouri to clarify an existing statute. Sen. Bob Dixon has introduced the Senate version, SB 169. The bill clarifies that the statutory rate of $3.50 (civil) and $2.60 (criminal) is for transcripts on appeal only. It also clarifies that the cost to prepare all other transcripts of testimony or proceedings shall be borne by the party who requests it and shall pay the court reporter.
New York AO 6245 — This bill grants court reporters in the first and second departments peace officer status.
Nevada S.B. 406 — This bill authorizes a natural person to obtain a temporary certificate of registration to engage in the practice of court reporting on a temporary basis if there is such an acknowledged shortage of reporters or the applicant is an active member of, or the spouse of an active member of, the Armed Forces of the United States. This bill also prohibits a court reporter or a court reporting firm from altering the record of a proceeding after the transcript of the proceeding has been certified, requires licensed court reporting firms to comply with existing laws that apply to certified court reporters, and provides that only a certified court reporter is authorized to perform the duties of an officer before whom depositions may be taken in any court in the State.
Texas HB 663 — This bill requires shorthand notes to be delivered to the court clerk and states that those notes are the property of the court. This bill also states that the court clerk shall establish transcription fees and allows the court to require the official court reporter to deliver a copy of the transcript to the clerk at no cost to the court.
Texas HB 3374 — This bill would require the registration and regulation of real-time captioning providers. This legislation is an identical companion to S.B. 2108.
Texas SB 2108— This bill would require the registration and regulation of realtime captioning providers. This legislation is an identical companion to HB 3374.
Wyoming H.B. 143 — This anti-contracting bill establishes prohibited acts that court reporting service providers may not engage in, including establishing rates or terms for services beyond a single case and failing to offer comparable services to all parties.
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