2017 Interpreter Bills
Updated On: Jul 30, 2020

HB 1869 / SB 5682 Regulating Interpreter Services

HB 1869 and its companion SB 5682 would centralize and consolidate the procurement of spoken language interpreter services thereby reducing administrative costs while protecting consumers.

Update: Neither bill made it out of the policy committee in time. No further action is expected for this legislative session.

 2017 Regulating Interpreter Services.pdf 

HB 1451 Improving language access for public school students and families

Under HB 1451, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) shall convene a language access advisory committee. The committee must include experts in language assistance services. By November 1, 2019, the committee must complete the following assignments:

(a) explore the need for, and possible elements of, a language testing and credentialing program within the office of the superintendent of public instruction, including consulting with the experts on existing language testing and credentialing programs;

(b) explore technologies to facilitate access to interpretation and translation services; and

(c) explore options for recruiting interpreters and for creating shared pools of qualified interpreters.

Update: Didn't make it out of the Appropriations Committee in time. No further action is expected for this legislative session.

HB 1540 / SB 5046 Providing Public Notices in LOTEs

Under SB 5046 and its companion HB 1540, state agencies that are required to provide public notices informing communities about public health, safety, and welfare risks must provide those notices in a foreign language if at least five percent of residents, or 500 residents, whichever is fewer, in the city, town, or county speak that foreign language and are of limited English proficiency.  Under a state of emergency, state agencies must provide notices, information, and services in languages represented by an affected area’s demographic data. During emergencies, emergency management departments must provide written notices, verbal notices, and radio or television public service announcements in languages, other than English, represented by their communities.

Update: Signed into law by the Governor on May 16, 2017.

HB 1285 Oath requirements for interpreters in legal proceedings

HB 1285 modifies interpreter oath requirements, allowing interpreters for hearing impaired and non-English-speaking persons to submit an oath once on satisfaction of credentialing requirements.

Update: Signed into law by the Governor on April 20, 2017.

HB 1186 Provision of and reimbursement for certain court interpreter services

Introduced at the behest of the Board of Judicial Administration, HB 1186 (a) requires presiding officers to appoint a certified, registered, or qualified interpreter at public expense in all legal proceedings in which a non-English-speaking person is a party or is compelled to appear; (b) provides for reimbursement by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) of one-half of the costs for interpreters, subject to the availability of funds specifically appropriated for this purpose; and (c) requires presiding officers to track and provide interpreter cost and usage data annually to the AOC.

Update: Referred to policy committe in the Senate but didn't make it out of committee. No further action is expected for this legislative session.

HB 1386 / SB 5233 Exempting translators and interpreters from the state's Industrial Insurance Act

The purpose of this bill is to exclude a group of workers from both industrial insurance under Title 51 and unemployment compensation under Title 50 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW). Under HB 1386 and its companion SB 5233, except for agents or brokers subject to RCW 50.44.010, 50.44.020,7 50.44.030, and 50.50.010, the term "employment" shall not include services performed by a language translator or interpreter that are provided for others through an agent or broker. Other exempt workers under current legislation include: domestic servants, gardeners, jockeys, rural child laborers, and newspaper carriers.

Update: The senate version passed the Senate but didn't make it out of the House committee. No further action is expected for this legislative session.

More Information:
2017 Regulating Interpreter Services Flyer
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