The English First folks have gotten the signatures they need to put their initiative on the November 4 ballot. In the meantime, Councilman Eric Crafton (Bellevue) takes it a step further at Tuesday's Metro Council meeting by introducing:
Generally, I like user fees. If I'm not using the service I don't like having to pay for it. I do expect howls of objection from 'immigrant advocates' saying they won't be able to afford these fees. Seems to me this is a fairly good compromise in the debate. If you want to save yourself some money, learn English or bring our own trusted interpreter with you. I don't think taxpayers should foot the bill for having to provide services in who knows how many languages and take on the liability of a misinterpretation--which has been my concern all through this debate.
Chapter 2.226 FEES FOR INTERPRETER SERVICES
2.226.010 Interpreter service fees required.
All metropolitan government departments, agencies, boards and commissions responsible for issuing any type of permit to the general public, and who provide interpreter services for non-English speaking applicants, shall develop an “interpreter fee” to be charged to all non-English speaking applicants requiring the interpreter services. The amount of such fee shall not exceed the actual costs for providing the interpreter services.BL2008-287