H.C.R. NO.









requesting a sunrise analysis for the regulation of court interpreters.


WHEREAS, according to the United States Census of 2000, Hawaii had the fifth highest percentage of persons with limited English proficiency in the nation, with approximately 26.6 percent of the State's residents residing in homes where a language other than English was spoken; and

WHEREAS, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, states are required to provide language interpretation services to court users with limited English proficiency; and

WHEREAS, the lack of professionally trained and tested interpreters not only slows down the judicial process and reduces the efficiency of the courts, but jeopardizes the basic legal rights of non-English speaking individuals and increases the risk of expensive appeals due to interpreter error; and

WHEREAS, in 1997, Hawaii joined the Consortium of Court Interpreting of the National Center for State Courts (Consortium), which provides court interpreter certification examinations in 13 languages; and

WHEREAS, Hawaii is one of only three of the 30-member states of the Consortium that has yet to implement court interpreter certification in any language; and

WHEREAS, anyone, regardless of language ability or interpreting skills can currently become a registered interpreter with the Hawaii State Judiciary by obtaining a general excise tax license and submitting a court interpreter application form; and

WHEREAS, applicants who pass a test on interpreter ethics are placed on a preferred list; and

WHEREAS, the Hawaii State Judiciary, in its revised fee schedule and payment policies for court interpreters has acknowledged the need to provide the most competent interpretation available by recognizing court interpreter certification, licensure, or professionally qualified status from other jurisdictions; and

WHEREAS, in response to this, H.B. No. 2856 was introduced during the Regular Session of 2004 to require the Hawaii Supreme Court to create and implement a program for the certification of court interpreters; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to section 26H-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, before a new regulatory measure subjecting unregulated professions and vocations to licensing or other regulatory controls can be enacted, it must first be analyzed by the Auditor to determine whether such regulation is consistent with the Hawaii Regulatory Licensing Reform Act; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-second Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2004, the Senate concurring, that the Auditor is requested to perform a sunrise analysis for the regulation of court interpreters, as embodied in H.B. No. 2856; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Auditor specifically analyze the following areas:

(1) The costs and benefits of a court interpreter certification program; and

(2) A summary of existing laws in other states that do and do not certify or license court interpreters;


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Auditor submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation it deems necessary, to the Legislature at least 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2005; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Auditor, Administrative Director of the Hawaii Supreme Court; and Director of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.







Report Title:

Court Reporters; Sunrise Analysis