By Guy Page
A “language access” bill introduced into the Vermont House today would require state agencies serving “a substantial number” of non-English speakers to offer translated materials and bi-lingual staff.
H692 would require state agencies to “implement language access services, including the use of translated materials, bilingual staff, or contracted interpretation services, when the agency serves a substantial number of individuals with limited English proficiency.”
The bill was assigned to the Government Operations Committee. The lead sponsor is Sarita Austin (D-Colchester). Other sponsors are Reps. Kevin Christie (D-Hartford), Rep. Mari Cordes (D-Bristol), and Reps. Emma Mulvaney-Stanek (P) and Carol Ode (D), both of Burlington.
The “short form” bill does not specify a budget for providing the added staff and services, nor does it provide the number of Vermonters who would benefit from these services.