Washington, DC—U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica today issued the following statement in response to the introduction of a bill in the New York State Legislature which would declare English the official language of the Empire State.
Senate Bill 1582, the New York State English Language Empowerment Act, would also require that all official business of the state, including documents, publications and meetings, occur in English. Introduced by State Senator Michael Nozzolio, S. 1582 includes common sense exceptions allowing for the government use of foreign languages in instances of public health and safety, the teaching of foreign languages, judicial situations, trade and commerce and more.
“It is past time for the New York State Legislature to take action on this unifying legislation,” Chairman Mujica said. “As one of just 19 states without an official language policy, State Senator Nozzolio’s bill aims to unite all residents with the recognition of a common, shared language. With more than 2.4 million New York residents considered limited English proficient, the English Language Empowerment Act will add an extra incentive for the state’s non-English speakers to learn the language—for their own benefit. I commend Senator Nozzolio on his leadership and urge the New York State Legislature’s enactment of this bill.”
The New York State English Language Empowerment Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, 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.