As you may all recall, the 2021 legislative session had bills introduced that directly and adversely affected our profession. SB1605 was snuck through the House Judiciary and floor vote without our knowledge despite our monitoring efforts. Luckily, it was brought to our attention two days before the Senate Judiciary hearing at which ACRA President-Elect was able to attend and defend our opposition to the bill.
When we put the word out, many of you went into action by contacting your local Representatives and Senators to educate them on the ramifications of the bill. Your actions and ACRA’s representation at the hearing resulted in the bill being withdrawn, taken back to Judicial Council and rewritten with language that included payment to substitute court reporters originally omitted in the bill. That was quite the learning experience, and our naïve eyes were awakened to just how quickly and stealthily things move in the state legislature.
Now is the time that we should prepare for the legislative session 2023. Committees and groups are already meeting and preparing proposed legislation for the upcoming session.
As a professional organization, we all need to do these three things:
Everyone, please donate as generously as you can to the legislative fund so that we can engage the services of professional legislative consultants who can be our eyes and ears in the upcoming session, advocate for us and advise us on how best to respond to and/or introduce legislation that will benefit and protect our profession. You may have heard the saying, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Last session, court reporters were on the menu. Next session, we will be at the table. To do that, we must increase our legislative fund. There is a special donation button on our website for this purpose.
We all know there’s strength in numbers; and numbers matter when it comes to legislative activities. Renew your membership this year to ACRA. If you’re not a member, please join. Encourage your colleagues to also join ACRA and our efforts to promote and protect Arkansas certified court reporters. Spread the word!
We will be forming committees soon for the various needs of ACRA. Please be willing to help volunteer when called upon. We can do hard things and do them better together!
Sky, Valarie, Liz, Buffy, Marna