S.B. NO.



S.D. 1
















SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to establish a more coordinated and cost-effective statewide language access program.

SECTION 2. Section 321C-6, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"321C-6 Office of language access; established. There is established within the department of health, for administrative purposes only, the office of language access. The head of the office shall be known as the executive director of the office of language access. The executive director shall be appointed by the governor without regard to chapter 76. The executive director or the department of health shall:

(1) Provide oversight, central coordination, and technical assistance to state agencies in their implementation of language access requirements under this chapter or under any other law, regulation, or guidance;

(2) Provide technical assistance to covered entities in their implementation of this chapter;

(3) Review and monitor each state agency's language access plan for compliance with this chapter;

(4) Where reasonable access is not provided, endeavor to eliminate the language access barrier using informal methods, including conference, conciliation, mediation, or persuasion. Where the language access barrier cannot be eliminated by informal methods, the executive director or department of health, as the case may be, shall submit a written report with [the executive director's] an opinion and recommendation to the state agency or the covered entity. The executive director or department of health may request the state agency or the covered entity [to notify the executive director,] for notification within a specified time, of any action taken on the [executive director's] recommendation;

(5) Consult with language access coordinators, the language access advisory council, and state department directors or their equivalent;

(6) Subject to section 321C-3, create, distribute to the State, and make available to covered entities, multilingual signage in the more frequently encountered languages in the State, and other languages as needed, informing individuals of their right to free oral language services and inviting them to identify themselves as persons needing services;

(7) Adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to address the language needs of limited English proficient persons;

(8) Administer a statewide language access resource center that shall:

(A) Maintain a publicly available roster of language interpreters and translators, listing their qualifications and credentials based upon guidelines established by the office of language access in consultation with the language access advisory council;

(B) Train state and state-funded agencies on how to effectively obtain and utilize the services of language interpreters and translators;

(C) Support the recruitment and retention of language interpreters and translators providing services to state and state-funded agencies;

(D) Provide, coordinate, and publicize training opportunities to increase the number and availability of qualified language interpreters and translators and further develop their language interpretation and translation skills; and

(E) Work toward identifying or creating a process to test and certify language interpreters and translators and promote use of the process to ensure the quality and accuracy of the language interpretation and translation services; and

(9) Have the authority to hire personnel necessary to staff the statewide language access resource center and to administer its multilingual website. The staff, at a minimum, shall consist of one full-time project coordinator, three full-time program specialists, and one full-time clerk. To the extent possible, the executive director or department of health shall hire bilingual personnel to staff the statewide language access resource center and to administer its website."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2050.



Report Title:

Office of Language Access; Statewide Language Access Reform



Requires the Executive Director of the Office of Language Access or the Department of Health to perform the duties of the Office of Language Access. Effective 7/1/2050. (SD1)




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