SENATE BILL No. 638

 

 

September 13, 2011, Introduced by Senators KAHN, GREEN, COLBECK, WALKER, BRANDENBURG, HANSEN and PAPPAGEORGE and referred to the Committee on Government Operations.

 

 

 

     A bill to designate English as the official state language; to

 

provide certain rights; and to provide the powers and duties of

 

certain state and local agencies and officials.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 1. (1) English is designated as the official language of

 

this state.

 

     (2) Official actions of this state that bind or commit the

 

state or that give the appearance of presenting the official views

 

or position of the state shall be in the English language.

 

     (3) Except as provided in subsection (6), a law, ordinance,

 

decree, program, or policy of this state, or a political

 

subdivision of this state, shall not require the use of any

 

language other than English for any documents, regulations, orders,

 


transactions, proceedings, meetings, programs, or publications that

 

do any of the following:

 

     (a) Promote trade, commerce, and tourism.

 

     (b) Create or promote state or agency mottoes.

 

     (c) Inscribe public monuments.

 

     (4) A person who speaks only the English language shall be

 

eligible to participate in all programs, benefits, and

 

opportunities, including employment, provided by this state and its

 

political subdivisions, except when required to speak another

 

language as provided in subsection (6).

 

     (5) A law, ordinance, decree, program, or policy of this state

 

or a political subdivision of this state shall not penalize or

 

impair the rights, obligations, or opportunities available to any

 

person solely because a person speaks only the English language.

 

     (6) The state and the political subdivisions of this state may

 

use a language other than English for any of the following

 

purposes:

 

     (a) To teach or encourage the learning of languages other than

 

English.

 

     (b) To protect the public health or safety.

 

     (c) To teach English to those who are not fluent in the

 

language.

 

     (d) To comply with the Native American languages act, 25 USC

 

2901 to 2906, the individuals with disabilities education act, 20

 

USC 1400 to 1482, or any other federal law.

 

     (e) To protect the rights of criminal defendants and victims

 

of crime.

 


     (f) To perform acts involving the customary use of a language

 

other than English.

 

     (g) To utilize terms of art or terms or phrases from other

 

languages which are commonly used in communications otherwise in

 

English.