March 14, 2013
2013 Legislative Boot Camp Takes Court Reporters to Capitol Hill
Congress urged to support Local Courthouse Safety Act
VIENNA, Va., March 14, 2013—The National Court Reporters Association, the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, broadcast captioners, and CART providers, today announced that 40 of its state affiliate association leaders, along with its national board of directors representing 27 states, traveled to Capitol Hill last week to meet with their respective members of Congress to urge them to support the critical and important Local Courthouse Safety Act. The visits culminated a two-day Legislative Boot Camp program hosted by NCRA, March 3 to March 5, designed to provide advocacy training for the stenographic court reporting profession.
“NCRA’s Legislative Boot Camp positioned us to carry our message about this important piece of legislation to our nation’s lawmakers,” said NCRA President Tami Smith, CSR, RPR, CPE, and a court reporter for the 37th Circuit Court in Battle Creek, Mich.
“The program developed by NCRA’s government relations department included a wide array of sessions that covered grassroots efforts, effective lobbying, communicating with Congressional staff, networking tips, and public relations. The camp provided attendees with a vast cache of skills and tools we will be able to utilize to advocate on important issues to court reporters at the national, state and local levels.”
The Local Courthouse Safety Act was first introduced by Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and John Boozman, (R-Ark.) in February 2012 as bipartisan legislation that calls for supporting courthouse safety by providing the buildings with security equipment no longer in use by other federal agencies. The Act also calls for allocating existing federal funding to supply courthouse security equipment and safety training for court security guards. The legislation was prompted by an uptick in violent attacks occurring inside courthouses. The bill stalled in the U.S. Senate, although a companion bill, H.R. 6185, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation received broad support from a variety of agencies including the National Association for Court Management, the National Sherriff’s Association, the Conference of Chief Justices, and the American Judges Association. In early March, Sens. Franken and Boozman reintroduced the same legislation as S. 445.
“It is important to NCRA that members of the court reporting profession work in the safest environment possible and we are committed to doing everything we can to help ensure that scenario is a reality. Passage of this Act will provide a real and cost-effective deterrent for potential attacks on courthouses, and provide states with additional resources to deliver safeguards,” said Jim M. Cudahy, executive director and chief executive officer of NCRA.
“Our Boot Camp program is just one of the many benefits we provide our members to ensure them access to issues, regulations and legislation such as the Local Courthouse Security Act, that affect them. Boot Camp provides them with the knowledge and skills needed so that they can serve as vital links between the court reporting and captioning profession and regulatory and legislative agencies from the grassroots level through the national level.”
For more information, visit www.NCRA.org. Career information about the court reporting profession—one of the leading career options that do not require a four-year degree—can be found at www.CareersInCourtReporting.com.