NCRA Government Relations and the Tennessee Court Reporters Association are happy to announce that, due to our tremendous grassroots efforts — including the number of letters sent and phone calls made to elected representatives — the Tennessee Joint Subcommittee on Commerce, Labor, Transportation, and Agriculture extended the sunset of the Tennessee Board of Court Reporting for one year and preserved the license of Tennessee Court Reporters.
The Joint Subcommittee is also requiring that the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance hold a public hearing in which notice must be properly provided to all parties so that we have an opportunity to voice our opposition to any potential sunset prior to the department making another recommendation to the Tennessee General Assembly. The fight isn’t over yet, but NCRA and the Tennessee association were successful in pushing back and making our voices heard.
Background Information: On Tuesday, Oct. 16, NCRA Government Relations was informed by our NCRA members in Tennessee that the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance intended to recommend the termination or sunset of the Tennessee Board of Court Reporting, the licensing and regulatory authority for court reporting in Tennessee. The recommendation to sunset the Board was confirmed during a hearing on Thursday, Oct. 19 before the Tennessee General Assembly’s Commerce, Labor, Transportation, and Agriculture Subcommittee of the Joint Government Operations Committee. The department’s rationale for the recommendation was due to the lack of complaints against the Tennessee Board of Court Reporting and the department’s desire to appoint the Tennessee association and NCRA as the regulatory authorities to govern reporters in the state despite both associations serving as optional membership organizations rather than regulatory entities.
NCRA Government Relations attended the hearing virtually while several NCRA members in Tennessee attended in person to voice their opposition, including: NCRA President-Elect Keith R. Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR; NCRA Past President Max Curry Jr., RPR, CRI; and from the Tennessee association Amber Thompson, CCR, LCR, president; Sarah M. Motley, LCR, president-elect; and Sheila D. Wilson, LCR, past president. [Ed note: The LCR is the Licensed Court Reporter, the licensure abbreviation used in Tennessee.]
In response to this concern, NCRA Government Relations acted in less than 24 hours to organize NCRA members and nonmembers in Tennessee by:
- Developing a grassroots campaign in the NCRA Action Advocacy center using NCRA’s VoterVoice software.
- Drafting and sending a letter from NCRA President Kristin M. Anderson, M.A., RPR, FCRR, to each individual Representative and Senator sitting on the Joint Subcommittee.
- Drafting a customizable template letter, which was located in the NCRA Action Advocacy Center, for interested parties to contact the Joint Subcommittee.
- Drafting a customizable sample phone script which was also located in the NCRA Action Advocacy Center, so that interested parties could make phone calls to the Joint Subcommittee in opposition to the sunset.
- Notifying every contact in NCRA’s database in Tennessee — approximately 435 individuals — of the potential sunset through three action alert emails.
- Notifying individuals through NCRA’s social media platforms.
- Raising awareness of the concern to NCRA State Leaders and the NCRA National Congress of State Associations (NCSA).
Thank you to everyone who made phone calls and sent opposition letters to the elected representatives sitting on the Joint Subcommittee. Our efforts are another example of the power of grassroots advocacy and what NCRA Government Relations can do for you. When we all come together for a common goal, we can effect immediate change!
The concern in Tennessee also highlights the need for our state association leaders and aspiring leaders to attend the 2024 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp. During Boot Camp, leaders will experience an immersive, hands-on opportunity and learn the advocacy skills necessary to represent the court reporting, captioning, legal videography, and scoping professions. This year’s event is being held March 10-12, 2024; at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Alexandria Old Town, Va. Registration is open from November 28, 2023, through January 24, 2024, and the agenda, among other important information, will be released at that time.
For registration rates and registration-related information, please visit the 2024 NCRA Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp webpage or email NCRA Director of Government Relations Jocelynn A. Moore, Esq., at firstname.lastname@example.org.