This year the House, the Senate and the Governorship are all under the control of the same party.
Support Legislative Funding for Court Interpreter Services
The Board for Judicial Administration (BJA) needs your support to improve access to court interpreter services for our growing diverse population. Washington State does not have a unified court system; its courts are funded by counties and cities. In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Executive Order 13166, state courts are mandated to provide free interpreter services. This is an unfunded federal mandate.
In 2008, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) implemented the first phase of a reimbursement program where if courts contract with state certified and registered interpreters, then AOC reimburses them 50% of the expense. Currently, less than 50 courts are participating in the reimbursement program, which needs to be expanded to cover all the rest. The AOC 2019-2021 budget includes funds to support this judicial branch priority. Please reach out to your local legislators and ask them to support this important funding request.
· Fact Sheet
· Talking Points
· Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
· Legislative Response Form
Update: The Interpreter Funding Task Force’s budget request was funded by the legislature. The Task Force sent out individual thank you letters to all Senate and House Budget Committee legislators for their support of the request. The Task Force meets in June to review their work and determine next steps. AOC staff previously developed a broad level program implementation plan to help guide work activities if funding was secured. AOC will continue planning efforts and start program implementation in the new fiscal year which starts on July 1, 2019.
Language Accesss in Public Schools
HB1130 / SB 5606 requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to implement a Language Assistance Plan (LAP) for K-12 schools. In addition, OSPI shall convene a work group to guide the development of training standards or a curriculum for interpreters working in elementary and secondary public schools.
Update: Signed into law by the Governor on May 7, 2019. Effective as of July 28, 2019.
IN SOLIDARITY WITH OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN OREGON
HB2231 provides the right for healthcare interpreters paid by the State of Oregon to collectively bargain with the State of Oregon.
Update: Passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support. It now goes to the Governor for signature.