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December 2008 - January 2008

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December 11, 2008
Official English Legislation Pre-Filed in South Carolina

South Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell pre-filed S. 3 yesterday, once again leading the effort to strengthen South Carolina’s official English law. The bill would reaffirm South Carolina’s official English law by limiting the production of printed documents in languages other than English to causes that promote education and protect public safety. Exceptions are noted in several areas, including publications that promote commerce and tourism, protect crime victims and criminal defendants, or are required by federal law.

December 3, 2008
Commerce Secretary-designate Bill Richardson Accepts Nod in English and Spanish

Earlier today, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for Secretary of Commerce delivered his acceptance speech in both English and Spanish.

November 13, 2008
Legislation Introduced to Make English the Official Language of Texas

Just days after 85 percent of Missouri voters approved an official English ballot initiative in that state, a Texas legislator has pre-filed legislation that would make English the official language of Texas. The measure, H.B. 81, filed by Rep. Dan Flynn, marks the first of what is likely to be a flurry of efforts promoting the official language in the United States in 2009.

November 6, 2008
American Voters Send 150 Official English Supporters to Congress

In a historic election, American voters sent 150 candidates to Congress who have demonstrated their support for making English the official language. 

In the House of Representatives, the tally includes 120 co-sponsors and the lead sponsor of H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act. Among those re-elected were 114 “A in English” award winners, who earned high marks for their support of official English in the 110th Congress, as well as nine new members who signed pledges vowing to support official English legislation if elected to the 111th Congress. On the Senate side, Americans returned 16 candidates who earned “A” grades for their support of official English in the 110th Congress. These individuals will rejoin 29 incumbent supporters who were not up for election in this cycle. The roster of 16 re-elected members does not include two candidates who were leading their respective contests, but whose races appeared to be headed for recounts.

November 5, 2008
Missouri Voters Strengthen State

Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved H.J. Res. 7 yesterday, strengthening the state’s official English law. The measure passed with more than 85 percent of the vote, as 2.4 million Missourians cast ballots in favor of the measure.

October 15, 2008
U.S. English Releases 2008 Voter Guide

U.S. English, Inc. released its 2008 Voter Guide today, highlighting candidates who have supported or vowed to support official English legislation in Congress. The 14-page guide contains voting records and the responses to candidate pledges for all 435 House races as well as 35 U.S. Senate races. Based on the established criteria, more than 250 candidates have been “U.S. English Approved.”

September 30, 2008
New Congressional Bill To Require Accountability for Government Multilingualism

U.S. English, Inc. today hailed the introduction of H.R. 7092, the first Congressional legislation to account for multilingual services provided by the federal government. Offered by Rep. Virginia Foxx, H.R. 7092 would end speculation about the cost of multilingual services by requiring government agencies to disclose these expenditures in their annual accountability reports each year. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

 

August 5, 2008
Official English Legislation Remains Popular in Texas, Survey Finds

More than three-in-four Texans support making English the official language of the state according to a new poll from Zogby International. The survey found that 78 percent of Lone Star State residents favor legislation that would limit government multilingualism and unite the state under the common language of English. The poll, which was conducted from July 21-23, indicated that just 20 percent of Texans oppose such a bill, with the remaining two percent undecided.

July 29, 2008
Official English Still Overwhelmingly Popular Despite Divided Nation

Despite divided opinions on oil drilling, immigration, and the war in Iraq, Americans remain strongly supportive of making English the official language of the United States, according to a new Zogby International poll released today. The survey of 1,039 likely voters found that 79.4 percent of Americans favor official English legislation, with 62 percent strongly supporting such a bill. The survey was conducted July 9-13, 2008 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

July 24, 2008
U.S. English Chairman Slams New York City Multilingual Law

On Wednesday July 23, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg signed Executive Order 120, requiring every city agency that has direct interaction with customers to provide language assistance in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Italian and French Creole. The order requires that each agency maintain a Language Access Coordinator to oversee the provision of oral and written translation.

July 16, 2008
English Language Unity Act Soars Past 150 Co-Sponsors in House

Efforts to make English the official language of the United States received a boost this week when three members of Congress added their support as co-sponsors of H.R. 997, the English Language Unity Act. The affirmations by Rep. Henry Brown, Jr., Rep. Jack Kingston and Rep. Jon Porter push the total number of bi-partisan co-sponsors of the measure to 152.

July 9, 2008
Obama Tells Audience,

At a town hall meeting in Georgia, presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama told an audience that, “you need to make sure that your child can speak Spanish.” Speaking in Powder Springs, Ga., the Illinois Senator said that the nation’s chief priority should not be for immigrants to learn English, but for American children to learn Spanish.

June 18, 2008
Nashville Voters Preparing to Override Mayor on Official English

A year after the Nashville Mayor vetoed efforts to make English the official language of the city, Councilman Eric Crafton is leading the charge to put the measure on the general election ballot in November.

June 10, 2008
Ohio Voters Strongly Favor Official English Bill

A new poll released by Quinnipiac University reveals that 85 percent of Ohioans support making English the official language of the state. Less than a month after the Ohio House of Representatives approved legislation that would make the state the 31st to adopt official English, the survey demonstrates that Ohio voters fully support the actions of the legislature.

May 22, 2008
Ohio House of Representatives Approves Official English Bill

The Ohio House of Representatives voted today to make English the official language of the state. By a vote of 54-42, the House passed H.B. 477, marking the first time the Ohio House has approved an official English bill since 1998. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.

May 8, 2008
U.S. English, Inc. Honors Recipients of "A in English" Awards

In a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol today, U.S. English, Inc. presented 130 members of Congress with “A in English” awards for their efforts to promote English as the unifying language of the United States. The recipients, who represent 37 states and both sides of the political aisle, were recognized by U.S. English, Inc. Chairman Mauro E. Mujica.

April 24, 2008
Oklahoma House of Representatives Approves Official English Bill

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed S.B. 163 yesterday, putting the Sooner State one step closer to becoming the 31st state to unify under the common language of English. By a vote of 70-28, the House voted to send the measure to the Senate. If passed there, it would be presented to the voters on the November general election ballot.

April 17, 2008
Legislation to Strengthen Colorado

Colorado Senator Dave Schulteis introduced legislation yesterday that would strengthen the state’s official English law. Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 proposes an amendment to the state Constitution that would declare English the state’s official language and require the overwhelming majority of state activities be conducted in English, with exceptions for areas such as public health, judicial proceedings, and foreign language instruction. The measure provides that final approval of the statute be conducted through a general ballot initiative.

April 10, 2008
New Congressional Legislation Puts Government Accent on English

Rep. Paul Broun introduced legislation today to make English the national language of the United States and clarify that there is no affirmative right to receive government services in languages other than English, except where required by federal law. Broun was joined by 26 other Representatives in introducing H.R. 5759, English as the Official Language Act of 2008. The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Education and Labor.

April 3, 2008
Iowa Court Rules Secretary of State

Iowa District Court Judge Douglas Staskal ruled today that the Iowa Secretary of State violated the state’s official English law by providing voter registration materials in foreign languages. The decision, in a case brought by U.S. English, U.S. Representative Steve King and eight Iowa citizens, including four County Auditors against Secretary of State Michael E. Mauro, represented the first legal test of official English legislation this decade.

March 28, 2008
Pennsylvania Judge Latest to Offer English Classes as an Alternative to Jail

Luzerne County [Pa.] Judge Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. made headlines this week for ordering three Spanish speaking men to learn English or serve out their sentences in jail. The three men, who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery on Tuesday, will be required to return in one year to take an English test. If they fail the test, the judge has told them that their parole will be revoked and they will be imprisoned.

March 13, 2008
U.S. Senate Slashes Funding for English-in-the-Workplace Lawsuits

The U.S. Senate voted 54-44 today to eliminate funding for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to prosecute English-in-the-Workplace lawsuits and instead use that money to increase funding for adult English classes.

March 13, 2008
Wisconsin Assembly Votes to Make English the Official Language

The Wisconsin Assembly voted 57-40 early this morning to make English the official language of the state and require accountability for the printing of documents in other languages. This marks the first time that a bill to make English the official language has passed in a chamber of the Wisconsin legislature.

March 11, 2008
Bill to Make English the National Language Introduced in U.S. Senate

Sen. James Inhofe has introduced new legislation to make English the national language of the United States. Answering continued calls for Congress to unite the country under the common language of English, the Oklahoma Senator introduced S. 2715, the National Language Act of 2008, on March 6.

February 20, 2008
Wisconsin Committee Hears Public Testimony on Official English Bills

The Wisconsin House Committee on Jobs and the Economy today took public testimony on two measures that would make English the official language of the state - Assembly Bill 289 and Assembly Bill 806.

February 19, 2008
Georgia House Committee Approves Official English Bill

The Georgia House Judiciary (Non-Civil) Committee voted this afternoon to approve legislation that would strengthen the state’s official English law as enacted in 1996.

February 13, 2008
Virginia House Passes Legislation To Protect English-in-the-Workplace Policies

The Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation yesterday clarifying that Virginia employers have a right to institute an English-in-the-workplace policy. The 70-29 vote on House Bill 1472 sends the measure to the Senate for consideration.

February 11, 2008
Momentum Building for Oklahoma Official English Bill

As the Oklahoma legislature begins its second week of business, support for making English the official language of Oklahoma continues to grow among legislators and the general public. Two months after House Speaker Lance Cargill joined a group of pro-assimilation legislators in announcing support for official English legislation, several bills to address the issue have been introduced in the Oklahoma legislature. The effort comes on the heels of the successful passage of a comprehensive immigration measure in 2007.

January 30, 2008
Push for Official Language Policies Continues to Grow in Congress, States

With 144 co-sponsors of H.R. 997 in addition to lead sponsor Steve King, support for official English has now reached one-third of the U.S. House of Representatives for the second straight Congressional session.

January 11, 2008
South Carolina Senators Approve Reduction of Government Multilingualism

A South Carolina Senate Judiciary subcommittee approved legislation yesterday that would strengthen the state’s official English law, originally enacted in 1987

January 10, 2008
New Year Brings New Push for Official English Measures

Legislation to strengthen official English laws has been filed in both Virginia and South Carolina, indicating the growing demand for common language legislation across the United States.


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