Official English Legislation Pre-Filed in South Carolina

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Fri Dec 12 18:17:26 UTC 2008

Official English Legislation Pre-Filed in South Carolina
Senate President Pro Tempore will again lead effort to strengthen law

Last update: 10:37 a.m. EST Dec. 11, 2008
WASHINGTON, Dec 11, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- South Carolina Senate
President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell pre-filed S. 3 yesterday, once
again leading the effort to strengthen South Carolina's official
English law. The bill would reaffirm South Carolina's official English
law by limiting the production of printed documents in languages other
than English to causes that promote education and protect public
safety. Exceptions are noted in several areas, including publications
that promote commerce and tourism, protect crime victims and criminal
defendants, or are required by federal law.

"We are pleased that Sen. McConnell has taken the reins on this
important issue," said Mauro E. Mujica, Chairman of U.S. English, Inc.
"South Carolina residents have a reasonable expectation that
government policy will encourage immigrants to get on the road to
English learning. By requiring government agencies to limit printed
translations to specific circumstances, South Carolina's government is
sending a strong message that while it will gladly offer emergency
assistance, it will not provide a permanent linguistic crutch." The
new bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where it
will be heard sometime after the Senate convenes on Jan. 13, 2009.
During the 2008 legislative session, Sen. McConnell introduced similar
legislation, S. 857. That bill passed the Judiciary Committee and the
full Senate, but was not considered by the House before the end of the

Official English legislation remains as popular in South Carolina as
it does throughout the nation. A 2007 Mason-Dixon poll found that 78
percent of South Carolina residents support an English as the official
language policy. The survey of 625 registered voters found
overwhelming support among Democrats, Republicans and Independents
throughout the state. "Promoting English acquisition and limiting
multilingual government is a beneficial idea at any time, but even
more so in tight economic times," added Mujica. "A proper official
English policy will benefit English learners in the long term and take
taxpayers off the hook for wasteful spending. I look forward to Senate
consideration of this bill when legislators return in January."

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