Senate Bill 3: Mandates Interpreters to Assist Non-English Speaking Employees for All Public Institutions
January 24, 2011
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Senator Ruth Whitaker, of Crawford County, has introduced Senate Bill 3. The bill calls for all public institutions of higher education and public hospitals to provide an interpreter to assist non English-speaking employees in understanding English.
The proposed Act DOES MANDATE (the word used is a legally relevant one “shall provide an interpreter to assist the employee with… oral communication in English.“
The most alarming fact is the bill focuses on a potential employee’s oral communication skills in English. It is difficult to conceive of a job in such institutions where the ability to SPEAK, READ and WRITE in English would not be essential, if not critical, to performing a job.
READ THE BILL
Link to Senate Bill 3
CALL YOUR SENATOR
Link to the Arkansas State Legislature
We get emails and here are some great talking points gleaned from our emails:
- English is the official language of Arkansas. Someone needs to tell Senator Whitaker. We need to call her voters’ attention to this awful bill.
- We need a basic proficiency exam for existing and new hires in state government to include all employees of state contractors. This would promote safety, for one thing.
- Rather than approving this insane bill, the Senate needs to pass a bill that requires Arkansas students to be proficient in READING, WRITING and SPEAKING English before they can receive a high school diploma.
- Why have any job requirements? This seems like a bill that was written by the liberals to create some affirmative hiring practices and squeeze out our citizens.
- Suppose a sign says, “DANGER DO NOT ENTER! THERE IS A FIRE!” “FIRE EXTINGUISHER HERE!” “NOT AN EXIT!” “AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY!” “HELP ME! I AM HAVING A HEART ATTACK AND CANNOT MOVE!” Someone must go find an interpreter in order to know what to do. Precious time is wasted.
- If someone cannot speak the language well enough to perform the job, they should not be hired because they are not qualified.
- How many languages would be needed to cover this bill? This bill will create the Tower of Babel and lead to lawsuits, higher health care costs, higher taxes and higher costs for goods and services because additional employees are required for a job. If they are unable to perform the job, it will require someone else to be hired to do the job with the first hire.
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