(Washington DC) – U.S. English supports the passage of Bill HB 3019 in the West Virginia House of Delegates, which would make English the official language of the Mountain State. The Bill received overwhelming bi-partisan support; quickly gaining momentum with a groundswell of popular interest and support from West Virginia residents throughout the State. 88 Members voted yes, only 4 voted no, and 8 were absent. The legislation now moves over to the West Virginia Senate, where Senator Dave Sypolt has introduced a similar Bill, SB 553.
“I would like to thank the Bill’s sponsor, Delegate Lynwood “Woody” Ireland, and his colleague, Delegate John Overington, for their tireless work, support, and effort in passing this landmark legislation,” said US English Chairman Mauro E. Mujica. “The House vote accurately reflects the common sense and popular will of 87% of West Virginia residents — who intuitively understand and appreciate the inclusive and unifying power that the English language has come to represent throughout our great nation,” concluded Chairman Mujica.
House Bill 3019 requires that all official state business be conducted in English. However, the Bill includes several exemptions. For example, it permits the State government to use foreign language(s) to protect the public health and safety, and to provide both learning and legal services to non-English speakers when both appropriate and necessary. The legislation also allows government officials to communicate with their constituents in foreign language(s); while still encouraging them to communicate in English.
Full passage of the Bill will make West Virginia the 32nd State in the United States to proudly adopt English as the official State language.