The Official English Movement in New York and in the Nation.

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    23 pp.
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    Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Research
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    • Keyword:
      Legislative History, English Only Movement, New York, State Role
    • Abstract:
      "English Only" and "Official English" are two terms that are used to describe the movement to declare English the official language of the United States. Sixteen states have laws declaring English their official language; 14 of these laws have been passed since 1981. This report decribes the effect of the movement in New York State (which does not have such laws) and nationally. The report includes an executive summary and six sections. Section 1, "A History of the Official English Movement," describes the evolution of "U.S. English" and other organizations to promote official language initiatives. Section 2, "State Summary," provides chronological and legislative data on states' Official English laws. Section 3, "New York State," records the opposition of Governor Mario Cuomo and New York City Mayor Edward Koch to Official English, and describes county and state attempts to legislate the language restriction. Section 4, "Federal Activity," examines six Official English bills introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. Section 5, "English Plus," describes the counterposition to English Only and Official English, proposed federal legislation on its behalf, and adopted state and local policies supporting it; national groups working for English Plus are also listed. Section 6, "The Official English Principle in Practice," cites examples of literal and illegal interpretations of English Only laws, indicating the need for additional legal and legislative explication. (AF)
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