In the Hopper

Your Guide to the Current Legislative and Regulatory Happenings in the Interpreting Profession

Director's Corner
Welcome to the first edition of In the Hopper, a newsletter from the Government Affairs Program. In the Hopper will be a monthly publication to inform our members about the current state of legislative and regulatory affairs that will impact the community and the profession. During particularly busy or slow times, it may be necessary to alter the frequency of the publication. 

Now you may be thinking, "Great! But what the heck is a hopper?" Is it a bunny rabbit? A kangaroo? Julie Anne jumping on a pogo stick? Unfortunately, it isn't anything nearly as amusing of those mental images you just conjured up. 

The hopper is the box on the House of Representatives clerk’s desk where members place bills and resolutions to introduce them. Also called “bill hopper,” the term derives from a funnel-shaped storage bin filled from the top and emptied from the bottom, often used to house grain or coal. Bills are retrieved from the hopper and referred to committees with the appropriate jurisdiction.

So the title of this publication, In the Hopper, means bills (and sometimes regulations) that have been introduced and should be on your radar. Of course we'll include other important information related to public policy from time to time, so if you have ideas for articles, please let us know! As always, your feedback in not only welcomed but encouraged. Please contact Julie Anne Schafer, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at with feedback and suggestions. 

Here's "hopping" you enjoy your first issue of In the Hopper.

Julie Anne

State of the States: Interpreter Legislation Across the Country

Legislative session is already in full swing in most states. During the current sessions, several states will consider regulating the interpreting profession. Is your state one of them? Check out the list below. This may not be a comprehensive list, so as always, if you have updates on legislation in your state, please share with 

Connecticut: HB 5321 
Amending current interpreter registration statute to strengthen and standardize the qualifications of interpreters serving deaf and hard of hearing persons.

Florida: HB 1125 / SB 1304
This bill establishes licensure requirements for persons that engage in the practice of interpreting for the deaf and hard of hearing and establishes an Interpreter Licensing Board. 

Massachusetts: S 163 
This bill establishes licensure requirements for persons that engage in the practice of interpreting for the deaf and hard of hearing and establishes the Massachusetts Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as the licensing body.

Oklahoma: HB 3402
This bill will modify certain requirements under the Oklahoma Educational Interpreter for the Deaf Act; establish an effective date; becomes effective immediately upon passage.

South Carolina: H 3880
The General Assembly declares that it is in the best interest of the public health, safety, and welfare to regulate the practice of interpreting on behalf of consumers who are hearing, deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, or speech disabled by licensing and provisionally licensing the providers of sign language interpreting services and establishing and monitoring sign language interpreting standards in this State. 

Tennessee: HB 2433 / SB 2443
This bill establishes licensure requirements for persons that engage in the practice of interpreting for the deaf and hard of hearing and creates the board of licensing of interpreters for the deaf and hard of hearing to oversee the profession. The board will be administratively attached to the division of health related boards.
We want YOU!

Are you the legislative or public policy chair for your RID chapter? Do you want to be part of a network of interpreters with a passion for legislation and policy? If so, you should join the newly formed RID Public Policy Liaison Network. If you'd like to join, please email to get started.
Julie Anne Schafer, Esq.
Director of Public Policy and Advocacy 
333 Commerce Street 
Alexandria, VA 22314 
703.838.0030 x237
703.838.0454 fax
State of the States: Public Comment on Interpreter Regulations Across the Country

What is the difference between legislation and regulations? Legislation (sometimes called a bill) is a proposed statute presented to a legislature that will become law once it is passed and enacted. Regulations (sometimes called rules) are guidelines from agencies designed to help implement and interpret laws passed by a legislative body.There are several states that are currently seeking public comment on regulations related to interpreters. 

BEI Certification Program, Texas: Public Comments
Summary: DARS staff are conducting a review and analysis of the BEI certification program administration and operations to consider whether the program may need modifications to strengthen and expand existing certification requirements.
Due: March 28, 2014
More information>>

Board for Certification of Interpreters, Missouri: Public Comments Summary: The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is considering reclassifying its level system for interpreters, introducing the BEI as the state interpreter exam, and making other changes to the Board for Certification of Interpreters. 
Due: April 1, 2014
More information>>

Qualified Interpreter - General Rules, Michigan: Public Comments Summary:The Michigan Department of Civil Rights and the Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing have issued a revised set of proposed administrative rules pursuant to the Deaf Persons Interpreters Act. If adopted, the rules will cover procedures for application, testing, revocation, 
suspension or limitation of certification, continuing education, renewals, and grievances, minimum credential requirements and levels, and minimum standards of practice for interpreters in Michigan. 
Due: April 7, 2014 by 5 PM. 
More information>> 

Educator Licensure and Preparation Program Approval Regulations and Educator License Renewal Regulations, Massachusetts: Public Comments  Summary: Require teachers to pass a Department-approved ASL proficiency test to receive or renew their license.
Due: April 18, 2014
More information>> 

Preproposal Statement of Inquiry, Washington: Public Comments Summary: Formally establishes standards for sign language interpreters to interpret in legal proceedings.
Due: Rolling, but file ASAP
More information>>  

Language Access Program, California: Public Comments
Summary: The goals of the LAP are to: provide all persons with equal access to courts; ensure court procedures are fair and understandable; and respond to needs of court users from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Due: No deadline, but report will be compiled in June
More information>>

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