February 26th – 2013 Regular Legislative Session Day 44

The next six bills being considered in the Appropriations Committee are House Bill 1542 which requires courts to appoint a certified or registered interpreter at public expense in all legal proceedings in which a non-English-speaking person is a party or is compelled to appear; requires the state to pay 50 percent of the cost of interpreters beginning in
January 2017; and requires courts to track and provide interpreter cost and usage data annually to the Administrative Office of the Courts.

Substitute House Bill 1627 establishes standards for a court to appoint an evaluator to conduct competency evaluations when performance targets for the completion of evaluations are not being met in a county.

Substitute House Bill 1642 encourages school districts to adopt a policy to automatically enroll a student who meets the standard on the high school state assessments in the next most rigorous advanced course in that subject, with the objective that students eventually enroll in dual credit courses; provides an incentive award to high schools based on student performance in specified dual credit courses, if funding is appropriated; creates a program to allocate one-time grants to high schools on a competitive basis to expand availability of dual credit courses, if funding is appropriated.

House Bill 1668 permits members of the Plan 2 of the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), School Employees’ Retirement System (SERS), and the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) who are at least age 55 and have 20 or more years of service to participate in the insurance plans offered by the Public Employees’ Benefits Board without requiring that they begin their retirement benefits.

Substitute House Bill 1723 establishes a technical working group and a legislative task force to examine options for creating an accessible, integrated, high-quality, and community based early learning program for children and their families; increases the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) slot rate to the Head Start level; expands eligibility for the ECEAP from 110 percent to 130 percent of the federal poverty level; provides a 10 percent Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) base increase in August 2013, as well as a 5 percent per child increase, effective August 2013, in the subsidy rate for providers achieving level 2 in the Early Achievers program; increases the base rate for all WCCC child care providers by 10 percent in
January 2014; and establishes requirements for tiered subsidy rate enhancements for ECEAP and child care providers.

Substitute House Bill 1753 authorizes the Department of Labor and Industries to purchase spoken language interpreter services; requires the departments of Social and Health Services and Labor and Industries and the Health Care Authority to integrate the purchase of interpreter services through one centralized system by July 1, 2016; requires language access providers to be certified or authorized by the state; establishes the Spoken Language Interpreter Advisory Group; requires the Department of Enterprise Services to develop and implement a model for providing interpreter services by July 1, 2014; allows for statewide collective bargaining units for language access providers who provide spoken language interpreter services for the
Department of Labor and Industries and for other state agencies through the Department of Enterprise Services.

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