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Relating to licensing examinations for certain court interpreters.
Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for HB 2656, As Engrossed: an impact of $0 through the biennium ending August 31, 2023.
The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.
HB 2656 would revise requirements for the number and form of court interpreter license examinations. Instead of being offered at least twice a year in times and places designated by the director of the Office of Court Administration as current statute requires, the bill would require the examinations to be held in-person in each county with 800,000 people or more at least once a year or in person at times and places designated by the director, if any, and online at least twice a year at times designated by the director.
Texas Action supports HB 2656. Current law only requires court interpreter license examinations to be held at least twice a year, in whatever time and location is decided upon by the Office of Court Administration. This limits the ability of a person seeking such a license to taking the examination at only the times and at the locations provided, which we are given to understand means applicants must travel to Austin to take the required exam.
HB 2656 would expand the availability of examinations for applicants by requiring them to either be held in person in all counties with a population greater than 800,000 or online at least twice a year in addition to any in-person opportunities the director may designate. Either way, options for taking the test would be expanded beyond those provided under the status quo which would reduce barriers to entry for prospective court reporters.