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Relating to court reporters and shorthand reporting firms; imposing a fee; creating a criminal offense.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 1619, Committee
Report 1st House, Substituted: an impact of $0 through the biennium ending August 31, 2021.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of
funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
HB 1619 would require a court reporter or shorthand reporting firm to fully itemize the rate and amount charged for the services on each billing statement for services provided by the reporter or firm in a legal proceeding.
The bill would require the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (JBCC) to periodically update a list of states that have certification, registration, or licensing requirements for court reporters and shorthand reporting firms substantially equivalent to those of this state.
In addition, the JBCC would certify to the Supreme Court the name of each qualified applicant who: holds a certification, registration, or license to engage in court reporting issued by another state that, as determined by the commission: has certification, registration, or licensing requirements to engage in court reporting that are substantially equivalent to the requirements of this state for a court reporter.
Under the new law, the Supreme Court would be authorized to approve reciprocity agreements for those qualified in other states. The bill would also allow a certification of an apprentice court reporter to engage in court reporting under the direct supervision of a certified court reporter. The bill would also create a provisional certification.
The purpose of this legislation is to address a shortage of court reporters in Texas.
Texas Action supports HB 1619 which would benefit limited government and individual liberty by making it easier for people to get into the court reporter profession in Texas through new entry-level classes of certification and potential state reciprocity agreements.