Idaho legislative panel reintroduces sign language interpreter bill

Posted at 1:15 PM, Jan 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 15:15:51-05

An eastern Idaho lawmaker is once again backing legislation requiring sign language interpreters to get a professional license from a state board.

Governor "Butch" Otter vetoed a similar proposal in 2014, arguing that the plan would have created a strain on already limited resources.

However, Rep. Kelly Packer, a Republican from McCammon, says her new plan addresses those concerns. Packer said she has worked with officials to courts in rural areas to ensure they could use video-chat with a licensed interpreter, if that area did not have one readily available.

The House Health and Welfare Committee agreed to introduce the legislation Monday. The bill must now pass a full hearing.

Advocates of the proposal say unqualified interpreters have caused miscommunications in important situations, like emergency rooms or legal proceedings.

(by Associated Press)