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Legislative Update
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Legislative Update
by Richard Russell, Government Relations Chair

 

We are coming to the end of what has been a very busy legislative season. There have been some victories (defeating SB1441 which would have put control of court reporting in Virginia in the hands of the state stenographic association); rule changes in Wisconsin which promote the use of digital reporting; some setbacks (SB278 in Utah passed and further solidifies the role of stenotype in the state); and some ongoing battles (AB424 in California is trying to restrict who can transcribe court recordings to only state certified stenographic reporters; SB2128 in Illinois which adds voice writing and pen writing to the Certified Shorthand Reporters Act of 1984).

Most of this activity is being driven by the increasing impact of the shortage of stenographic reporters. This shortage, which was predicted by the 2013 Ducker Report, is affecting users of court reporting and transcription (courts, governments, the legal community) across the country and is causing many traditional users (and providers) of stenographic court reporting to embrace digital reporting.

The major players in the industry are responding in different ways to this changing landscape.

  • States, courts, and the legal community are looking at ways to further integrate digital reporting and transcribing to ensure that they are able to meet their requirements and avoid delays of proceedings and backlogs of transcription.

  • The NCRA has chosen to double down on their core bylaws and aggressively oppose any expanded use of digital reporting. This includes the NCRA 2.0 program as well as an aggressive marketing campaign being run through their state associations. There will be more anti-digital legislation introduced and more anti-digital propaganda issued across the country.

  • AAERT is obviously ready to promote and support the expanding use of digital reporting both in the courts and in the private market. The AAERT Executive Forum in Orlando showcased the abilities of digital reporting and transcribing to accurately, efficiently, and cost-effectively produce high quality verbatim transcripts. There was a good turnout at the Forum of court reporting providers and users who are looking to digital reporting to meet their needs.

All of this means that AAERT will need to continue to be active in promoting digital reporting/transcribing and in fighting against the increased anti-digital efforts of the stenos. To be effective we will need your help and here’s how:

  • Please alert us if you become aware of any legislation or proposed rule changes that effect digital court reporting/transcribing.

  • If we reach out to you about activity in your state, please support our efforts by sending emails, making calls, involving contacts, etc.

  • Please contribute to the AAERT PAC fund. We will shortly be running a PAC fund-raising drive and will look for you to contribute to our efforts to impact legislation in your state and across the country.

If you have any questions at any time please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you. rick.russell@aaert.org

 

 

Richard Russell is AAERT’s Vice-President and Chair of the Government Relations Committee.


Richard Russell

rick.russell@aaert.org


 

 

 

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