This afternoon, AB 2257, a cleanup bill for AB5, was approved by the Senate 39-0.
Thanks to lobbying by AIJIC and other interpreting organizations, freelance interpreters will be allowed to continue working as independent contractors when hired by agencies. Interpreting services have been defined in AB 2257 as:
“Services provided by a certified or registered interpreter in a language with an available certification or registration through the Judicial Council of California, State Personnel Board, or any other agency or department in the State of California, or through a testing organization, agency, or educational institution approved or recognized by the state, or through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters, National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters, International Association of Conference Interpreters, United States Department of State, or the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.”
AB 2257 also allows interpreters to subcontract other interpreters, but this is limited to a “single-engagement event,” which has been defined as “a stand-alone non-recurring event in a single location, or a series of events in the same location no more than once a week.” Although this is better than nothing, it would preclude an interpreter who has his/her own clients from subcontracting another judicial interpreter to cover, for example, a jury trial which could last weeks in the same location. The effect of this provision is that the interpreter subcontracting the services would have to find a different interpreter for each day of the trial, which is completely unworkable. It is our intention to keep lobbying in 2021 to amend this language, since today was the last day for each house to pass bills this year.
September 30 is the last day for the Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before September 1. If signed, AB 2257 would go into effect immediately.
Translators were exempt under professional services in AB 2257.
We thank all of you for supporting AIJIC as members and donors (in some occasions both). This allowed us to hire our amazing lobbyist, Mandy Lee from Omni Government Relations, who was instrumental in getting our message across to Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez's office.