- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An eastern Idaho lawmaker is once again backing legislation requiring sign language interpreters to get a professional license from a state board.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter vetoed a similar proposal in 2014, arguing that the plan would have created a strain on already limited resources.

However, Rep. Kelly Packer, a Republican from McCammon, says that her new plan addresses those concerns. Packer said she has worked with officials to courts in rural areas to ensure they could use video-chat with a licensed interpreter if that area did not have readily available.

The House Health and Welfare Committee agreed to introduce the legislation Monday. The bill must now pass a full hearing.

Advocates of the proposal say unqualified interpreters have caused miscommunications in important situations, like emergency rooms or legal proceedings.

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