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Breaking News!!
Legislative Update - June 2, 2021

Just released today, the Legislature’s Version of the 2021-22 California State Budget includes TWO major wins for court reporters:
 
A trailer bill to increase the court reporter transcript rate and a $7 million ongoing allocation beginning in 2021-22 to fund the increased rate


AND

30 million beginning in 2021-22 and a trailer bill that provides for the hiring of court reporters for all FAMILY LAW and CIVIL cases involving indigent litigants.
 
LACCRA Officials, SEIU’s Libby Sanchez, and CCRA worked very hard to bring concerns of officials to the Senate and Assembly with the hope that both houses of the State Legislature would include in their budgets moneys for a transcript rate increase for court reporters!  This year, both houses have finally included it in their budget!
 
We have great appreciation for Assemblymember Philip Y. Ting, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, Senator Nancy Skinner, Senator Maria Elena Durazo, their committee members, chiefs, and staffs. We appreciate you!
 
The Assembly and the Senate have agreed to include the $7 million for the transcript rate increase and the $30 million for family law and civil indigent cases in the final budget that will be voted on by June 15th. 
 
LACCRA Officials, SEIU’s Libby Sanchez and CCRA will now be working harder than ever to make sure these items do not get removed from the budget before the final vote. We have to make sure our legislators and governor know how important these items are to our members.

LACCRA BUDGET AND LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - May 2021

Budget

It is imperative that Officials reach out to the legislators regarding the budget and SEIU has made a link available for Officials to do so quickly.

https://seiuca.org/campaigns/court-reporters/

This year, on our behalf and on behalf of Officials statewide, SEIU has been advocating for funding for the Transcript Rate Increase and for the hiring of more Officials to comply with Jameson v. Desta, which states that indigent people have the right to an accurate record, not just litigants who can afford to hire freelance reporters.

The Western Center on Law & Poverty is advocating for significant funding to the Transcript Reimbursement Fund on behalf of their clients, which also ties in with the Jameson case since they anticipate an increase in transcripts based on the evictions and the unlawful detainers and small claims arising out of Pandemic situations.

In March and April, SEIU staff and LACCRA Officials virtually met with Los Angeles area legislators to discuss the Transcript Rate Increase, unreliable remote hearings, Officials being removed from misdemeanor courtrooms, the court's purchase of inaccurate electronic recording equipment.  Thank you to SEIU Lobbyist Libby Sanchez, SEIU Vito Triglia, Dylan Johnson and Renee Anderson.  Thank you to LACCRA Officials, Carolyn Dasher (retired), Mary Kelly, Diana Van Dyke, Judith Hollifield, Cindy Rosales (retired), Georgette Rodarte, Dulce Moran, Jackie Garcia, Angie Parrish, Lauren Engel, Denise Lutz, Susan Pokersnik, Laura Lopez, Christy Zavala, Shanna Gray, Chris Fedoroff, and Cindy Tachell.

SEIU Lobbyist Libby Sanchez and CCRA Lobbyist Ignacio Hernandez will continue to virtually meet with legislators and their staff persons statewide to further advocate for funding for the Transcript Rate Increase and funding for the hiring of more Officials to comply with Jameson v. Desta.

The Senate released its budget priorities for this year’s budget and funding for the Transcript Rate Increase was included in their budget priorities.

The Assembly released its budget priorities and the funding for the Transcript Rate Increase was not included in their budget priorities.  We will wait to see what the joint Budget Conference Committee presents to the Governor.

In the Governor’s May revise, the funding for the Transcript Rate Increase was not included.  Included in the May revise was a proposal to fund paying outstanding traffic citations and criminal court fees for indigent litigants which could result in more funding to the courts.

It is imperative that Officials reach out to the legislators regarding the budget and SEIU has made a link available for Officials to do so quickly.

https://seiuca.org/campaigns/court-reporters/

Legislative

Breaking News!!

The Senate Budget Committee No. 5 voted to REJECT the proposed budget trailer bill that would allow for virtually untethered expansion of remote court proceedings in civil cases!

The Assembly Budget Committee No. 5 voted to REJECT the proposed budget trailer bill that would allow for virtually untethered expansion of remote court proceedings in civil cases!

Remote Reporting, Budget Trailer Bill Language, Audio Streaming

SEIU, CCRA and LACCRA have advocated for a working group to be established before remote appearances in the courtroom are made permanent.  Among the many concerns that present themselves with remote appearances is a concern that the Judicial Council will promote the increased use of electronic recording in more and more courtrooms.  SEIU, CCRA and LACCRA have been actively opposing SB 241 and the Budget Trailer Bill Language as each will legislatively allow for remote appearances by court users and/or any and all court staff, including bench officer, court reporters and interpreters.  As a result of the Budget Trailer Bill language, the Judicial Council will create the policy without input from officials or interpreters.

In April, the Judicial Council invited many court users, along with SEIU Lobbyist Libby Sanchez, CCRA’s Past President and Legislative Chair Sandy Walden and Santa Clara Official Michelle Caldwell, to participate in a one-hour meeting to discuss remote reporting.  As the meeting was only one hour, it was an exercise in futility, but it gives the Judicial Council the opportunity to say they spoke with court partners.

In May, the Judicial Council accepted public comment about remote recording.  LACCRA forwarded the experiences of our reporters to SEIU Lobbyist Libby Sanchez and those experiences were presented at that meeting.  We still need to collect our remote appearances experiences.  We still need over 400 letters about our experiences.  CCRA and SEIU will use these letters as this language moves forward.

Please send your experiences to [email protected].


Now, that the Senate Budget Committee No. 5 has rejected the Trailer Bill Language, LACCRA will continue to work with SEIU to ensure that it does not re-appear elsewhere in the legislative process.

Please join our reporters in our efforts to advocate and legislate for our profession and our jobs!  Join the LACCRA Legislative Committee!  Update your contact information with LACCRA!  [email protected]

Be sure to sign up to receive emails from SEIU!  www.seiu721.org

Find your legislators here: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/

Below are the links to the bills:

Trailer Bill Language

SB 241

AB 716 Audio Streaming - authored by Assembly Member Steve Bennett, District 37 Santa Barbara.  This bill proposes to make court proceedings more accessible to the public by requiring courts to provide remote access via audio stream on the internet or a telephone to the public.


TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT COURT EMPLOYEES

January 2021

Legislative Committee Update:  

In November 2020, LACCRA attended the first CCRA meeting for the upcoming year. The LACCRA Legislative Committee proposed four legislative changes to the CCRA Legislative Council.  Two of those proposals were accepted.. One proposal was the transcript rate increase.  Until we receive the long-awaited increase, we will not stop educating legislators and advocating for a legislative change.  The second accepted legislative proposal, if passed, would allow the prosecution, defendant or defense attorney to request an Official Court Reporter in a misdemeanor case. 

 

The Legislature reconvenes January 4th, 2021.  Legislative bills need to be introduced by February 19th.  As the legislative process moves forward, LACCRA will keep you updated.

Thank you to all reporters who sent a Holiday Card to their legislators. Reaching out to our respective Legislators and putting names and faces to our profession help us in our legislative endeavors.

Please consider joining the Legislative Committee.  We have monthly educational training sessions.  Email [email protected] for more information.

Save the Date!  NCRA Legislative Boot Camp.  May 2-4, 2021.  NCRA Leadership & Legislative Boot Camp | NCRA


April 29, 2020

Many changes have taken place in California because of the onset of the Covid-19 virus, one of which is that the California State Budget is now suffering from a tremendous loss of revenue and a greater demand for services, which may affect the state budget for years.  California needs federal financial support now.

Phase 4 of the Covid-19 stimulus package is being considered by Congress and SEIU is asking that all SEIU members contact their legislators immediately and demand that $500 billion in new aid be included in that package.

If your contact information is up to date with www.seiu721.org, you will receive a text on April 30, 2020, which will provide a phone number link to your legislator.  That phone number is (844) 967-2163.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

  1. Update your Contact and Legislative information in your LACCRA member profile www.laccra.org
  2. Update your Contact information with www.seiu721.org
  3. When you receive the text with the linked phone number, click on that link.  You will be asked to enter your zip code and you will then be connected with your legislator's office.  Remind your legislator that you are an essential worker in the courtroom, that you have been continuing to meet your responsibilities as an employee of the judicial branch of government in the face of a world pandemic, and that $500 billion in new aid must be included in Phase 4 of the Covid-19 stimulus package so that California Courts can continue to maintain the essential services that California needs for years to come.
  4. Please take the time to make this call.  It is one action you can take to protect the membership and our profession.

Please email [email protected] if you have questions.

In solidarity,

Dedicated to its members and the profession!
The LACCRA Legislative Committee and Board of Directors

Legislative Update

Many changes have taken place in California because of the onset of the Covid-19 virus, one of which is that the California Legislature is now more focused on legislation that involves managing the pandemic.  As a result, it is with great disappointment that the LACCRA Legislative Committee announces that SB 991 (Gonzalez), the Transcript Rate Increase bill, has been withdrawn by the bill’s author Senator Lena Gonzalez.  A member of the Legislative Committee was scheduled to speak in support of SB 991 at the hearing before the Judiciary Committee in Sacramento on Mar. 24, 2020.  That hearing was cancelled when the Shelter-at-Home order went into effect on Mar. 19, 2020.

California Senator Lena Gonzalez, District 33, whose district includes Long Beach, Signal Hill, Paramount, and parts of Los Angeles, introduced SB 991 and has expressed her sadness at having to withdraw the bill from consideration.  The Senator has expressed that the Transcript Rate Increase is an important issue and will be given more attention in the future.  
Be assured that LACCRA will continue to work until a Transcript Rate Increase Bill is passed!

WHAT CAN YOU DO:
Please update your Legislator information on your member profile by using the Locate your Legislator tool under the Legislation tab of the laccra.org website.

Please send Sen. Lena Gonzalez a thank you email for introducing SB 991.  Her email is
https://sd33.senate.ca.gov/contact/send-e-mail

If you have any questions or suggestions or would like to become a part of the Legislation Committee, please email [email protected]

Dedicated to its members and the profession!
The LACCRA Legislative Committee and the LACCRA Board of Directors