HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1762

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2022

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to language access.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that one out of nine persons living in Hawaii is limited English proficient. This limitation is often a barrier that prevents persons with limited English proficiency from accessing important benefits and services, including access to health care and other public benefits; essential information during public health emergencies, pandemics, or natural disasters; and access to earned benefits such as unemployment compensation or workers' compensation.

The legislature further finds that the office of language access was created in 2006 to address these language barriers through central coordination, technical assistance, and administration of a language access resource center for the benefit of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government. Where a government entity fails to provide language access, the office of language access is only authorized to eliminate the language barrier through informal methods including conferences, conciliation, mediation, and persuasion.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Require the office of language access to submit an annual report to the governor and legislature as a means of strengthening the office of language access's ability to assure compliance with state and federal language access laws; and

(2) Appropriate funds to establish limited English proficiency language coordinator positions in the departments of commerce and consumer affairs, health, and agriculture, and the Hawaii emergency management agency.

SECTION 2. Chapter 321C, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"321C-    Annual report. The executive director shall submit an annual written report to the governor and legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of each regular session detailing compliance of state agencies and covered entities with this chapter, complaints of noncompliance with this chapter, resolution of any such complaints, and recommendations to enhance and promote language access."

SECTION 3. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the establishment of one full-time equivalent (1.00 FTE) limited English proficiency language coordinator position in the department of commerce and consumer affairs.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of commerce and consumer affairs for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the establishment of one full-time equivalent (1.00 FTE) limited English proficiency language coordinator position in the department of health.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 5. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the establishment of one full-time equivalent (1.00 FTE) limited English proficiency language coordinator position in the department of agriculture.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of agriculture for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 6. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $           or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2022-2023 for the establishment of one full-time equivalent (1.00 FTE) limited English proficiency language coordinator position in the Hawaii emergency management agency.

The sum appropriated shall be expended by the Hawaii emergency management agency for the purposes of this Act.

SECTION 7. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2022.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Office of Language Access; Annual Report; Limited English Proficiency Language Coordinator; DCCA; DOH; DOA; HIEMA; Appropriation

 

Description:

Requires the executive director of the office of language access to submit an annual report to the governor and legislature on compliance, complaints, resolution of complaints, and recommendations to enhance and promote language access. Appropriates funds to establish limited English proficiency language coordinator positions in the departments of commerce and consumer affairs, health, and agriculture, and the Hawaii emergency management agency.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.