Budget-writers OK full-time interpreter for agency head

Posted at 4:14 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-01 18:14:57-05

BOISE, Idaho — For the past 11 years the deaf executive director of the Idaho Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has had to find a sign-language interpreter for meetings with lawmakers. The process can take days, sometimes forcing Steven Snow to miss important meetings on urgent issues.

The Idaho Press reports that now, for the first time, legislative budget-writers have approved funding so the council can hire a full-time interpreter.

Executive director Steven Snow didn't ask for the funding, but mentioned the issue in response to questions from members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee last month.

Members of the budget-writing committee were stunned by the situation. On Thursday, Idaho Falls Republican Wendy Horman proposed a budget for next year that includes roughly $90,000 for a full-time interpreter. The committee passed it unanimously.