Interpreter Budget

Gov. Brown proposes additional $7 million for interpreting in civil matters

SACRAMENTO (Jan. 7, 2016) _ Gov. Jerry Brown earmarked an additional $7 million to provide court interpreters in civil matters in the latest proposed general budget. The amount is in addition to the proposed 2016-2017 budget allocation of $94.5 million for interpreter services.

The proposed budget will be considered and modified by the senate and assembly, and the legislature must adopt a final budget by the end of June 2016.

CFI President Ariel Torrone praised the funding expansion decision today in a letter to the governor and pledged to continue working toward greater language access.

"On behalf of all interpreters in California I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for not only supporting but also funding the expansion of language services in our court system. Serving the different cultures and languages of all Californians will go a long way to show our commitment to equal access for all,” Torrone wrote.

California has been under federal scrutiny over access to court interpreters, particularly in civil cases. 

AB 1657, signed into law in 2014, requires courts to provide interpreters in civil proceedings at no cost to the parties and established an order of priority by case type. 

Yet a recent information gathering campaign by CFI found courts have failed to adequately inform court users, judicial officers and staff of the expansion of interpreter services to civil matters. It also found a resistance to providing interpretation services, even when funds and interpreters are available.

Funding for interpreter services has remained steady over the years and unspent money from this budget built up into a surplus that reached $14 million by October 2015.

Governor's Proposed 2016-2017 Budget
Letter by CFI President to Gov. Brown


tags: * language access *interpreter budget