The Official Language Act, HB 1506, was introduced in the Pennsylvania House by State Representative Ryan Warner
(Washington DC) — U.S. English, Inc., the nations oldest and largest non-partisan citizens’ action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States, with over 60,000 politically active members in Pennsylvania alone, enthusiastically supports the passage of HB 1506 in the Pennsylvania House. The bill makes English the official State language of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but it also includes reasonable exceptions to permit the use of other languages in cases of public safety and health, instructional education, commerce & tourism, and protecting the legal rights and interests of both criminal defendants and victims.
“Not only is making English the official State language of Pennsylvania an inclusive and unifying government interest, it will also encourage and provide an incentive for non-English speaking immigrants in Pennsylvania to learn English,” said U.S. English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica. “Learning English will provide greater financial and economic opportunities for non-English speaking residents of Pennsylvania; while also encouraging them to both vote and actively participate in public life,” concluded Chairman Mujica.
U.S. English, Inc. encourages residents of Pennsylvania to learn foreign languages. However, substantive academic and independent research studies have clearly shown that immigrants who are encouraged to learn English attain higher levels of education, are better able to both find and retain employment, earn a higher living wage, and are more economically and professionally successful. Being able to speak and write English also encourages citizens to more actively participate in the civic, cultural, government, and political affairs of the State; including exercising that most cherished of all Democratic rights — voting.
In a State with increasingly diverse opinions, values, interests, policy options, and yes, languages — it is more important than ever to find common ground in order to promote the common good. Passage of this bill will encourage non-English speaking immigrants in Pennsylvania to learn English, providing them with far greater professional opportunities; while encouraging them to both vote and actively participate in the civic life of the Keystone State. Full passage of the bill will make Pennsylvania the 32nd State in the United States to proudly adopt English as their official State language.