U.S. English Chairman Applauds West Virginia Bill to Declare English the States Official Language

Washington, DC—U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica today applauded West Virginia Delegate Lynwood Ireland for his introduction of a bill that would declare English the official language of the Mountain State.

HB 4019 would require that all official state business be conducted in English, allowing for exceptions in instances of health and public safety, the teaching of foreign languages, trade and tourism, conducting the Census and judicial activities.

“Passage of Delegate Ireland’s bill would make West Virginia the 32nd state to recognize English as the official language,” Chairman Mujica said. “Declaring an official language is a common sense way to unite all residents. When the government operates in foreign languages, it promotes the isolation of foreign language speakers. Conversely, when government business is conducted in English, it sends the message that learning English is essential to full civic participation, leading to the breakdown of existing communication barriers. I encourage the West Virginia State Legislature to support this unifying piece of legislation.”

In the 2015 Legislature, an identical bill introduced by Delegate Ireland passed the State House by a vote of 88 – 4. This year, HB 4019 currently has 11 bipartisan sponsors and has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it awaits further consideration.


U.S. English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S. English, Inc. ( www.usenglish.org ) now has more than 2 million members.