What is NCSA?
The National Congress of State Associations (NCSA) is one of NCRA’s most vital and active committees. Functioning as a conduit between state associations and the NCRA Board, NCSA performs a critical role within NCRA by providing a forum for state leaders to discuss issues and propose improvements to NCRA’s governance, policies, and procedures. NCSA gives voice to state affiliates on the national level. NCSA protects, informs, and educates affiliates and helps the board understand the needs of affiliates.
NCSA holds one formal meeting annually at the NCRA Annual Convention and will hold several informational meetings throughout the year at designated NCRA conferences (i.e., Leadership Conference, Legislative Boot Camp, Midyear Conference).
The NCSA Chair and Vice-Chair are appointed by the NCRA President; their role is to facilitate and guide the NCSA membership. The NCSA Governing Committee consists of three members and two alternates, who are elected to two-year terms by the NCSA Delegates at the NCSA Annual Meeting.
At the NCSA Annual Meeting, the NCSA membership is composed of two Delegates and two Alternates from each NCRA-approved affiliated association (“Affiliate”). Each Affiliate must formally designate its Delegates and Alternates annually. This two-delegate system gives each Affiliate an equal voice and an equal vote.
At meetings other than the Annual Meeting, NCSA Affiliates may designate an Affiliate Representative to act on its behalf if neither its Delegates nor its Alternates will be in attendance at the host conference.
Resolutions and position statements
Resolutions are proposals forwarded to the NCRA Board of Directors for their consideration which suggest actions or direction which the NCSA membership believes the NCRA Board of Directors should take. Position Statements declare the NCSA Delegates’ position on an issue. Resolutions and Position Statements may be submitted by any Delegate for consideration at the NCSA Annual Meeting. Each Resolution and Position Statement is voted upon at the NCSA Annual Meeting by the NCSA Delegates and is formally adopted by NCSA if two-thirds of the Delegates vote in favor of adoption.
The NCRA Board of Directors is not obligated to act on the Resolutions or Position Statements adopted by the NCSA membership, but it does review and comment on all NCSA Resolutions and Position Statements at its next subsequent meeting. NCSA Resolutions are often the driving force behind changes in NCRA policies or procedures.
Affiliates are encouraged to submit Resolutions and Position Statements. Each Affiliate will receive a packet of information which details the Resolution and Position Statement procedure. Resolutions and Position Statements should relate to the following areas for information and discussion purposes:
Types of problems experienced at the state level and constructive suggestions for assistance from NCRA:
- Types of assistance states feel are needed from NCRA
- Suggestions for increasing professionalism among verbatim stenographic reporters
- Suggestions and ideas for strengthening the profession
- Suggestions for improving ongoing programs in NCRA
- Positive experiences and programs which have proven beneficial to individual Affiliates.
A categorized list of prior Resolutions, along with the subsequent action on each Resolution, is available here.
Here is an example of a successful resolution:
“Delegates from the State of Colorado recommend the following Resolution: A booklet be created containing questions commonly asked reporters and answers regarding videotape vs. live reporters.” This Resolution was adopted by NCSA and was approved for action by the NCRA Board of Directors in 1987. (See NCSA Resolutions Index, Publications/Public Relations, Resolution 87-04-CO.)
The significance of NCSA
NCSA has always performed a critical role within NCRA by providing a forum for state leaders to discuss issues and propose improvements to NCRA’s governance, policies, and procedures. NCSA gives voice to State Affiliates on the national level. NCSA protects, informs, and educates Affiliates and helps the Board understand the needs of Affiliates.
The NCRA Board of Directors has affirmed NCSA’s significance by charging NCSA with expanding its role within the Association. The participation of every Affiliate is crucial if NCSA is to meet the Board’s charge.
The future of NCSA
While continuing its commitment to the Resolutions and Position Statement process, the current NCSA Chair and Vice Chair are committed to focusing more of NCSA’s resources to address the needs of the Affiliates, to increasing NCSA's role in shaping the future of NCRA, and to giving NCSA Delegates (and Representatives) a forum to share information and communicate more effectively with each other. To date, the NCSA Chair and Vice Chair have created a listserv for NCSA Delegates; held Information Exchanges or seminars at Leadership Conference, Legislative Boot Camp, and Midyear Conference; and have begun a complete overhaul of the NCSA Resolutions and Position Statements process to make it more accessible and relevant to Affiliates.
The NCSA Chair and Vice Chair will not only conduct meetings, but will gather and review the information shared at these meetings to detect trends, identify common problems, and guide Affiliates to solutions. From their collective wealth of experience and leadership in the court reporting profession, Affiliate leaders will convey their insights on important issues and offer guidance to other Affiliates.
The NCSA Chair and Vice Chair will also work to facilitate more frequent bi-directional dialogue between Affiliates and the NCRA Board. Greater interaction between the NCRA Board of Directors and our Affiliates will make NCSA stronger and more adept at dealing with issues on a national level. We will be able to address issues more comprehensively and on a national basis rather than on a state-by-state basis.
NCSA is all about you
The foundation laid by the Chair any Vice Chair will only bear fruit if all Affiliates actively participate. This means you! The structure has no meaning without the input of all Affiliates. The process is designed to give equal consideration to the needs of all Affiliates, regardless of size, and to afford all Affiliates equal access to the information-sharing process.
We hope that this NCSA 101 primer has been informative and has persuaded you to take an active role in NCSA. We can’t do it without you, the Affiliate. For more information about NCSA, visit the Government Relations section of the NCRA website or contact NCRA's Government Relations Department.
We’ll be looking for you!
NCSA mission statement
The purpose of the National Committee of State Associations is to provide a forum of state association leaders to meet at the time of the Annual Convention of NCRA for purposes of exchanging experiences, information and various points of view involving the Association and the profession. The National Committee may also adopt resolution statements for purposes of information, positions, and/or guidance to be considered by affiliated associations and NCRA. Minutes of the meeting of NCSA shall be prepared for the information of the affiliated units and NCRA.