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Senator Kohl Introduces Court Interpreter Services Legislation

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Senator Kohl's website,  http://kohl.senate.gov/newsroom/pressrelease.cfm?customel_dataPageID_1464=2921

Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) unveiled legislation Monday to create a federal grant program to ensure high quality interpreter services are made available to non-English speakers appearing in court.

The legislation addresses the shortage of qualified court interpreters by authorizing $15 million per year, over five years, for a State Court Interpreter Grant Program.

It would provide states with assistance to develop, implement and improve state court interpreter certification programs in order to ensure fair trials for individuals with limited English proficiency.

Those states that apply would be eligible for a $100,000 base grant allotment. In addition, $5 million would be set aside for states that demonstrate extraordinary need.

The remainder of the money would be distributed on a formula basis, determined by the percentage of persons in that state over the age of five who speak a language other than English at home.

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