Kansas Governor's signature makes English official language of state

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Sat May 12 21:49:01 UTC 2007


  Governor s Signature Makes English the Official Language of Kansas
  11/05/2007 20:18:00 Business Wire Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed
legislation today to make English the official language of Kansas.

The measure, H.B. 2140, passed the House, 114-7 and the Senate, 32-8 earlier
this year. "I want to applaud Gov. Sebelius and Representatives Mario Goico,
Candy Ruff, and Don Myers for their efforts in passing this bill," said
Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of the Board of U.S. English, Inc.
"English-speaking Kansans deserve to know that their tax dollars will not
continue to perpetuate unfettered government translations.
Newcomers to Kansas deserve opportunities to learn the English language and
assimilate into our nation.
This law benefits both natives and newcomers to the Sunflower State." As
passed by the House and Senate, H.B.
2140 would make English the official language of Kansas.
Under the legislation, state agencies would not be required to conduct
business and provide documents in languages other than English, except where
necessary to comply with federal law, protect public safety, and maintain
Constitutional rights.
Kansas becomes the 30th state overall, and the third in seven months, to
enact English as its official language, following Idaho in March and Arizona
last November.
The seven month span marks the shortest amount of time for three new states
to adopt official English legislation since Montana, South Dakota and New
Hampshire approved similar laws over three months in 1995.
"Making English the official language is not some stop-gap measure designed
to thwart immigration," continued Mujica, who immigrated from Chile in 1965.
"It is a long term policy that takes into account that our nation functions
best when we can all communicate in the same language, and that government
must promote English learning for all Americans." Polls have shown
enthusiastic support for official English among all segments of the
population.
A June 2006 poll from Rasmussen Reports found that 85 percent of Americans
favor making English the official language of the United States, while a
Oct.
2006 survey by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research found support for a state
law among nearly eight-in-ten Kansans.
Most recently, a survey by the Harvard University Institute of Politics
found that 72 percent of 18-24 year old Americans support making English the
official language of the United States.
Strong support for official English has also been demonstrated at the state
and federal levels, raising the possibility for a 31st state before the end
of the year.
More than 20 states had official English legislation introduced in the state
legislature this year, and measures are still pending in several active
chambers, including Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin.
At the federal level, H.R.
997, the English Language Unity Act, has the support of more than 100
Representatives, making it one of the most widely supported bills in the
110th Congress.
"While Americans continue to search for that elusive solution to our
immigration problem, they are more united than ever toward a focus on
assimilation," added Mujica.
"Americans do not want to live in an English-only nation, but they also
oppose the creation of an English-optional nation.
I hope that more states will follow the lead of Kansas and provide the
combination of beneficial government policy and increased English language
learning funding." U.S.
English, Inc.
is the nation s oldest and largest 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 can be found on the web at: www.usenglish.org.


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