senate Bill S1902

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Makes English the official language of New York state

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (2)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to investigations and government operations
Jan 09, 2013 referred to investigations and government operations

S1902 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Investigations And Government Operations
Law Section:
State Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 9 ยงยง130 - 132, State L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S469
2009-2010: S1152, S6746

S1902 - Bill Texts

view summary

Enacts the New York state English language empowerment act which deems English the official language of the government of the state of New York.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1902

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state law, in relation to making
English the official language of New York state

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Makes English the official language of
New York State.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: State Law is amended by adding Article
9, Official State Language, which designates English as the official
state language to better serve the diverse ethnic, cultural and linguis-
tic backgrounds of New York State citizens.

JUSTIFICATION: This legislation would encourage of rudimentary command
of the English language to help our citizens. Absent a rudimentary
command of the English language, citizens of this state axe unable to
make their voices heard in the legislative process, effectively exercise
their right to vote, or fully understand the rights afforded them by the
united State and New York Constitutions. Such citizens also have a more
difficult time finding gainful employment, affordable housing, health
insurance and otherwise availing themselves of the full benefits of
American life for themselves and their families. English is already the
official language of 30 states, including New Hampshire and California.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.6746 of 2009/2010 S.469 of 2011/2012

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None known at this time.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1902

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. NOZZOLIO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
  ment Operations

AN ACT to amend the state law, in relation to making English  the  offi-
  cial language of New York state

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The state law is amended by adding a new article 9 to  read
as follows:

                                ARTICLE 9
                         OFFICIAL STATE LANGUAGE
SECTION 130. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.
        131. SHORT TITLE.
        132. OFFICIAL STATE LANGUAGE.
  S  130.  LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT. THE LEGISLATURE HEREBY FINDS
THAT, THE STATE IS COMPRISED OF INDIVIDUALS FROM MANY ETHNIC,  CULTURAL,
AND  LINGUISTIC  BACKGROUNDS,  AND  CONTINUES  TO BENEFIT FROM THIS RICH
DIVERSITY. THROUGHOUT THE HISTORY OF NEW YORK AND THE UNITED STATES, THE
COMMON THREAD BINDING INDIVIDUALS OF DIFFERING BACKGROUNDS HAS BEEN  THE
ENGLISH  LANGUAGE.  COMMAND  OF  THE  ENGLISH  LANGUAGE  IS NECESSARY TO
PARTICIPATE IN AND TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITIES AFFORDED  BY
AMERICAN  LIFE.  ABSENT  A  RUDIMENTARY COMMAND OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE,
CITIZENS OF THIS STATE ARE NOT ABLE TO MAKE THEIR VOICES  HEARD  IN  THE
LEGISLATIVE  PROCESS, EFFECTIVELY EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE, OR FULLY
UNDERSTAND THE RIGHTS AFFORDED THEM BY THE UNITED STATES  AND  NEW  YORK
CONSTITUTIONS.  SUCH  CITIZENS  ALSO  HAVE A MORE DIFFICULT TIME FINDING
GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT, AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HEALTH INSURANCE, AND  OTHERWISE
AVAILING THEMSELVES OF THE FULL BENEFITS OF AMERICAN LIFE FOR THEMSELVES
AND THEIR FAMILIES.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01290-01-3

S. 1902                             2

  S  131.  SHORT  TITLE. THIS ACT SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE
"NEW YORK STATE ENGLISH LANGUAGE EMPOWERMENT ACT".
  S 132. OFFICIAL STATE LANGUAGE. ENGLISH SHALL BE THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
OF  THE  GOVERNMENT  OF  THE STATE OF NEW YORK. 1. THE STATE OF NEW YORK
SHALL CONDUCT ALL OFFICIAL BUSINESS OF THIS STATE IN ENGLISH. ALL  OFFI-
CIAL  DOCUMENTS,  REGULATIONS, ORDERS, AND PUBLICATIONS SHALL BE PRINTED
IN ENGLISH  AND  ALL  OFFICIAL  PROGRAMS,  MEETINGS,  TRANSACTIONS,  AND
ACTIONS  CONDUCTED  BY  OR ON BEHALF OF THIS STATE AND ALL ITS POLITICAL
SUBDIVISIONS SHALL BE IN ENGLISH.
  2. A. OTHER LANGUAGES MAY BE USED  BY  GOVERNMENT  OFFICIALS,  AND  IN
OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS, WHENEVER NECESSARY TO:
  (I) PROTECT THE HEALTH, SAFETY, OR LIBERTY OF ANY CITIZEN;
  (II) TEACH OR STUDY OTHER LANGUAGES;
  (III)  PROTECT  THE  RIGHTS  OF  CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS OR THE VICTIMS OF
CRIME;
  (IV) PROMOTE TRADE, TOURISM, OR COMMERCE;
  (V) FACILITATE ACTIVITIES PERTAINING TO THE COMPILATION OF ANY CENSUS;
  (VI) COMPLY WITH THE FEDERAL INDIVIDUALS WITH  DISABILITIES  EDUCATION
ACT;
  (VII)  USE  PROPER NAMES, TERMS OF ART, OR PHRASES FROM LANGUAGE OTHER
THAN ENGLISH; OR
  (VIII) COMPLY WITH THE CONSTITUTION AND LAWS OF THE UNITED  STATES  OF
AMERICA, OR THE STATE CONSTITUTION.
  B.  EXCEPT IN EXIGENT CIRCUMSTANCES, WHEN AN OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT DOCU-
MENT IS TRANSLATED INTO ANY  LANGUAGE  OTHER  THAN  ENGLISH  UNDER  THIS
SECTION,  AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION WILL ALSO BE PROVIDED IN THE SAME DOCU-
MENT, APPEARING IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO AFFORD THE READER THE OPPORTUNITY
TO OBSERVE THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF ALL PHRASES USED.
  3. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO:
  A. DIMINISH THE USAGE OF, PREVENT THE  STUDY  OR  DEVELOPMENT  OF,  OR
DISCOURAGE  THE  USE  OF, ANY NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGE IN ANY CONTEXT OR
FOR ANY PURPOSE;
  B. PROHIBIT ANY ELECTED OFFICIAL FROM SPEAKING  TO  ANY  PERSON  IN  A
LANGUAGE  OTHER  THAN ENGLISH WHILE CAMPAIGNING OR PROVIDING CONSTITUENT
SERVICES, ALTHOUGH SUCH OFFICIALS ARE ENCOURAGED TO USE ENGLISH AS  MUCH
AS POSSIBLE TO PROMOTE FLUENCY IN ENGLISH;
  C.  DISPARAGE  ANY  LANGUAGE OR DISCOURAGE ANY PERSON FROM LEARNING OR
USING ANY LANGUAGE;
  D. PROHIBIT INFORMAL AND  NONBINDING  TRANSLATIONS  OR  COMMUNICATIONS
AMONG OR BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVES OF GOVERNMENT AND OTHER PERSONS IF THIS
ACTIVITY  DOES  NOT AFFECT OR IMPAIR SUPERVISION, MANAGEMENT, CONDUCT OR
EXECUTION OF OFFICIAL ACTIONS AND IF THE REPRESENTATIVES  OF  GOVERNMENT
MAKE  CLEAR THAT THESE TRANSLATIONS OR COMMUNICATIONS ARE UNOFFICIAL AND
ARE NOT BINDING ON THE STATE OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE  STATE;
OR
  E.  PROHIBIT  INDIVIDUALS  FROM UTILIZING TRANSLATION METHODS OF THEIR
OWN PROVISION TO COMMUNICATE WITH AN OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT AGENT OR  ENTI-
TY.
  4.  AS USED IN THIS SECTION, "OFFICIAL" MEANS ANY GOVERNMENT ACTION OR
DOCUMENT THAT BINDS THE GOVERNMENT, IS REQUIRED BY LAW, OR IS AUTHORIZED
BY LAW.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.