Session of 2021
SENATE BILL No. 185
By Committee on Education
2-9

1 AN ACT concerning the Kansas department for children and families;
2 relating to the Kansas commission for the deaf and hard of hearing;
3 authorizing such commission to adopt rules and regulations for
4 interpreters and interpreter services; establishing a sign language
5 interpreter registration process and fees relating thereto; providing
6 guidelines for communication access services; amending K.S.A. 75-
7 4355a, 75-4355b, 75-5391, 75-5393 and 75-5397a and repealing the
8 existing sections.
9
10 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
11 New Section 1. (a) A person seeking to interpret under K.S.A. 75-
12 4355a through 75-4355d, and amendments thereto, and section1 through 5,
13 and amendments thereto, or to comply with any state or federal law or
14 rules and regulations shall obtain registration in accordance with this
15 section.
16 (b) To obtain registration as an interpreter, an applicant shall submit
17 an application on a form and in a manner prescribed by the commission
18 and shall pay the registration fee determined by the commission in rules
19 and regulations. The commission may grant registration to any person
20 who:
21 (1) Has obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent;
22 (2) is 18 years of age or older;
23 (3) has no other record of disqualifying conduct as determined by the
24 commission; and
25 (4) has obtained a certification or other appropriate credentials as
26 determined by the commission.
27 (c) (1) The commission may grant registration as an interpreter to an
28 applicant who has been duly licensed or registered as an interpreter by
29 examination under the laws of another state, territory or the District of
30 Columbia if, in the opinion of the commission, the applicant substantially
31 meets the qualifications for registration as an interpreter in this state. The
32 applicant shall provide satisfactory evidence of verification of the
33 applicant's licensure or registration from the original state of licensure or
34 registration.
35 (2) The commission may grant temporary registration to a
36 nonresident interpreter who holds a certificate or license in such
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1 interpreter's state of residence. An interpreter granted a temporary
2 registration shall not interpret more than 20 separate days in a year in this
3 state.
4 (d) (1) Registrations issued under this section shall expire on the date
5 established by rules and regulations of the commission unless revoked
6 prior to that time. The commission shall send a notice for renewal of
7 registration to every interpreter at least 60 calendar days prior to the
8 expiration date of such person's registration.
9 (2) (A) A registered interpreter shall have a grace period of 30
10 calendar days after a registration has expired to renew such registration
11 without a late fee. The commission may charge a late fee for any renewal
12 application received after such grace period. The commission shall
13 determine the amount of the late fee in rules and regulations, but such fee
14 shall not exceed $200.
15 (B) An interpreter whose registration has expired after failing to
16 submit a renewal application may renew registration upon payment of the
17 late fee and submission of satisfactory evidence of completion of
18 continuing education requirements established by the commission. For
19 renewals of expired registrations, the commission may require additional
20 testing, training or education to establish the interpreter's present ability to
21 perform the functions and responsibilities of an interpreter.
22 (3) An interpreter, as a condition for renewal of a registration, shall
23 attend not less than 30 hours of continuing education programming within
24 a two-year period. Upon receipt of such application, payment of fee and
25 evidence of satisfactory completion of the required continuing education,
26 the commission shall verify the accuracy of the application and grant
27 renewal of the registration.
28 (e) (1) The commission may require an applicant for registration as
29 an interpreter to be fingerprinted and to submit to a state and national
30 criminal history record check. The fingerprints shall be used to identify the
31 applicant and to determine whether the applicant has a record of criminal
32 history in this state or another jurisdiction. The commission is authorized
33 to submit the fingerprints to the Kansas bureau of investigation and the
34 federal bureau of investigation for a state and national criminal history
35 record check. The commission may use the information obtained from
36 fingerprinting and the applicant's criminal history for purposes of verifying
37 the identification of the applicant and making the official determination of
38 the qualifications and fitness of the application to be issued or maintain
39 registration.
40 (2) Local and state law enforcement officers and agencies shall assist
41 the commission in taking the fingerprints of applicants for registration.
42 Local and state law enforcement officers and agencies may charge a fee as
43 reimbursement for expenses incurred in taking and processing fingerprints
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1 under this section. The Kansas bureau of investigation shall release all
2 records of an applicant's adult convictions to the commission.
3 (3) The commission may fix and collect a fee for fingerprinting and
4 conducting a state and national criminal history record check of applicants
5 or registrants as may be required by the commission in an amount equal to
6 the cost of fingerprinting and the criminal history record check.
7 (f) The commission may refuse to issue, renew or reinstate a
8 registration, may condition, limit, revoke or suspend the registration of any
9 individual if the applicant or registrant:
10 (1) Has been found incompetent or negligent in the practice of
11 interpreting;
12 (2) has been convicted of a felony offense or a misdemeanor against
13 persons and has not demonstrated to the commission's satisfaction that
14 such person has been sufficiently rehabilitated to merit the public trust;
15 (3) submits an application that contains false, misleading or
16 incomplete information;
17 (4) fails or refuses to provide any information requested by the
18 commission;
19 (5) fails or refuses to pay the required fees;
20 (6) is currently listed on a child abuse registry or an adult protective
21 services registry as the result of a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect
22 by any state agency, agency of another state or the United States, territory
23 of the United States or another country, and the applicant or registrant has
24 not demonstrated to the commission's satisfaction that such person has
25 been sufficiently rehabilitated to merit the public trust; or
26 (7) has had a license, registration or certificate to practice as an
27 interpreter revoked, suspended or limited, or has been the subject of other
28 disciplinary action, or an application for a license, registration or
29 certificate denied, by the proper regulatory authority of another state,
30 territory, District of Columbia, or other country, a certified copy of the
31 record of the action of the other jurisdiction being conclusive evidence
32 thereof.
33 (g) Administrative proceedings and disciplinary actions regarding
34 interpreter registration under sections 1 through 3, and amendments
35 thereto, shall be conducted in accordance with the Kansas administrative
36 procedure act. Judicial review and civil enforcement of agency actions
37 under sections 1 through 3, and amendments thereto, shall be in
38 accordance with the Kansas judicial review act.
39 (h) The executive director of the commission shall adopt rules and
40 regulations to effectuate the provisions of this section. Such rules and
41 regulations may include, but not be limited to:
42 (1) Fees, including, but not limited to, registration fees and late fees,
43 that are necessary to fund the expenses and operating costs incurred in the
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1 administration and enforcement of this section;
2 (2) categories of interpreter certification and interpreter
3 endorsements, including necessary credentials or qualifications;
4 (3) continuing education requirements and programs for registered
5 interpreters;
6 (4) a code of professional conduct;
7 (5) a supervision and mentorship requirements and programs for
8 interpreters with provisional registration;
9 (6) suspension or revocation of interpreter registration; and
10 (7) any other matter deemed necessary by the executive director to
11 implement and administer this section.
12 New Sec. 2. (a) Except as provided in subsection (c), it shall be
13 unlawful for any person who is not registered with the commission, or
14 whose registration has been suspended or revoked, to:
15 (1) Practice as an interpreter;
16 (2) hold out to the public the intention, authority or skill to interpret;
17 (3) provide video remote interpreting services; or
18 (4) use any title or abbreviation to indicate the person is an interpreter
19 registered with the commission.
20 (b) Except as provided in subsection (c), it shall be unlawful to:
21 (1) Cause or permit a person to interpret in Kansas, either in-person
22 or remotely, with knowledge that such person is not a registered
23 interpreter;
24 (2) represent that a person is a registered interpreter, when the entity
25 knows or reasonably should know that such person is not a registered
26 interpreter;
27 (3) hold out to the public, on behalf of a person, the intention, skill or
28 authority to interpret, when the entity knows or reasonably should know
29 that such person is not a registered interpreter; or
30 (4) accept payment for securing an interpreter under the provisions of
31 K.S.A. 75-4355a through 75-4355d, and amendments thereto, when the
32 person provided by the entity to interpret is not a registered interpreter.
33 (c) This section shall not apply to a person:
34 (1) Interpreting during a religious event;
35 (2) interpreting as a volunteer without compensation after receiving
36 approval from the commission or the executive director;
37 (3) interpreting during an emergency, until the services of a registered
38 interpreter can be obtained; or
39 (4) a student who is enrolled in and pursuing a degree or credential in
40 interpreting or an interpreter training program or a provisional interpreter
41 with a supervision plan overseen by the commission, while such student or
42 provisional interpreter is under the supervision of a registered interpreter.
43 (d) When it appears to the commission that any person or entity is
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1 violating this section, the commission may bring an action in the name of
2 the state of Kansas in a court of competent jurisdiction for an injunction
3 against such violation without regard to whether proceedings have been or
4 may be instituted before the commission or whether criminal proceedings
5 have been or may be instituted.
6 New Sec. 3. (a) The commission shall develop and administer a
7 program to provide guidelines for the utilitization of communication
8 access services, communication access service providers and interpreter
9 service agencies. The executive director of the commission may adopt
10 rules and regulations to effectuate the provisions of this section. Such rules
11 and regulations may include, but not be limited to:
12 (1) Fees necessary to fund the expenses and operating costs incurred
13 in the administration and enforcement of this section;
14 (2) determination of the qualifications of communication access
15 service providers;
16 (3) minimum standards of training of communication access service
17 providers;
18 (4) registration of communication access service providers and
19 interpreter service agencies;
20 (5) a code of professional conduct governing communication access
21 service providers;
22 (6) standards for equipment or technology supporting communication
23 access services;
24 (7) a system of statewide coordination of communication access
25 services; and
26 (8) any other matter that the executive director deems necessary to
27 effectuate the provisions of this section.
28 (b) (1) The commission may require communication access service
29 providers to be fingerprinted and to submit to a state and national criminal
30 history record check. The fingerprints shall be used to identify the
31 applicant and to determine whether the applicant has a record of criminal
32 history in this state or another jurisdiction. The commission is authorized
33 to submit the fingerprints to the Kansas bureau of investigation and the
34 federal bureau of investigation for a state and national criminal history
35 record check. The commission may use the information obtained from
36 fingerprinting and the applicant's criminal history for purposes of verifying
37 the identification of any individual and in the official determination of the
38 qualifications and fitness of the individual to provide communication
39 access services.
40 (2) Local and state law enforcement officers and agencies shall assist
41 the commission in taking the fingerprints of individuals. Local and state
42 law enforcement officers and agencies may charge a fee as reimbursement
43 for expenses incurred in taking and processing fingerprints under this
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1 section. The Kansas bureau of investigation shall release all records of an
2 individual's adult convictions to the commission.
3 (3) The commission may fix and collect a fee for fingerprinting and
4 conducting a state and national criminal history record check of
5 individuals pursuant to this section as may be required by the commission
6 in an amount equal to the cost of fingerprinting and the criminal history
7 record check.
8 New Sec. 4. (a) The commission shall remit all moneys received from
9 fees, charges or penalties under sections 1 through 3, and amendments
10 thereto, to the state treasurer in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A.
11 75-4215, and amendments thereto. Upon receipt of each such remittance,
12 the state treasurer shall deposit the entire amount into the state treasury to
13 the credit of the Kansas commission for the deaf and hard of hearing
14 registration fee fund.
15 (b) There is hereby created in the state treasury the commission for
16 deaf and hard of hearing registration fee fund. All moneys credited to the
17 fund shall be used to carry out the powers, duties and functions of the
18 commission. The fund shall be administered by the Kansas commission for
19 the deaf and hard of hearing. All expenditures from the fund shall be made
20 in accordance with appropriation acts upon warrants of the director of
21 accounts and reports issued pursuant to vouchers approved by the
22 executive director of the commission or the executive director's designee.
23 New Sec. 5. As used in K.S.A 75-4355a through 75-4355d, and
24 amendments thereto, and sections 1 through 5, and amendments thereto:
25 (a) "Commission" means the Kansas commission for the deaf and
26 hard of hearing.
27 (b) "Communication access services" includes, but is not limited to:
28 (1) Communication access realtime translation services;
29 (2) notetakers;
30 (3) open and closed captioning services;
31 (4) support service providers for the deaf-blind; and
32 (5) any other effective method of making aurally delivered
33 information available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
34 (c) "Communication access service provider" means an individual
35 who is trained to offer a communication access service to communicate
36 aurally delivered information to individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing
37 or have speech and language impairments;
38 (d) "Executive director" means the executive director for the Kansas
39 commission for the deaf and hard of hearing.
40 (e) "Interpreter" means an individual who engages in the practice of
41 interpreting.
42 (f) "Interpreter service agency" means an entity that contracts with or
43 employs registered interpreters to provide interpreter services, whether in
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1 person or remotely, for a fee.
2 (g) "Interpreting" means the translating or transliterating of English
3 concepts to any communication modes of individuals who are deaf, hard
4 of hearing or have speech and language impairments or the translating or
5 transliterating of the communication modes of individuals who are deaf,
6 hard of hearing or have speech and language impairments to English
7 language concepts. Communication modes include, but are not limited to,
8 American sign language, English-based sign language, cued speech, oral
9 transliterating and information received tactually.
10 (h) "Video remote interpreter" means an interpreter who engages in
11 the practice of video remote interpreting.
12 (i) "Video remote interpreting" means the process that allows an
13 individual who is deaf or hard of hearing to communicate with a hearing
14 individual at the same location through an interpreter displayed through
15 videoconferencing or similar technology.