Section 196. The commission shall maintain and coordinate a statewide interpreter referral service for use by any public and private agencies and individuals for any situations including emergencies.
Departments and agencies of the commonwealth and other public and private agencies and individuals shall reimburse the commission where so required by the commission’s regulations for the compensation and travel expenses of any interpreter appointed by the commission pursuant to this section, but said departments, agencies and individuals shall not reimburse the commission for indirect costs or fringe benefits paid to such interpreter. The commission is authorized to treat reimbursements of prior year expenditures for the services of interpreters as reimbursements of current year expenditures for such services. The commission may charge a fee where so required by the commission’s regulations for the cost of maintaining an emergency referral service, but no part of such fee shall be assessed to a hearing-impaired individual. Monies collected under the provisions of this section shall be retained by the commission in a revolving fund or funds, and shall be expended subject to the approval of the secretary of the executive office of human services and the state comptroller to purchase interpreter services; provided, however, that the commission shall provide quarterly reports to the house and senate committees on ways and means detailing the amounts of revenues received or expended under this section. Said fund or funds shall be subject to biennial audit by the state auditor.
The commission is authorized to work with the board of regents, the department of education and private institutions to insure ongoing interpreter educational programs designed to increase the number of competent interpreters.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 7 of chapter 268A, a state employee who is approved by the commission for the deaf and hard of hearing as an interpreter may be employed by the commission or by other state agencies as long as the interpreter services will be provided outside of the normal working hours of the employee, the services are not required as part of the regular duties of the employee, the employee does not participate in or have official responsibility for the financial management of the contracting agency, the employee is compensated for no more than four hours in any day in which the employee is otherwise compensated by the commonwealth, and the head of the contracting agency files with the state ethics commission a written certification that there is a critical need for the services of the employee.