On January 3, 2024, two New Jersey State Assembly committees (Assembly State and Local Government Committee and Assembly Appropriations Committee) considered S2459/A3837, a bill that proposes requiring state government entities to translate vital documents in at least the 15 most common non-English languages spoken by limited English proficient (LEP) people in the state and to provide interpreting services in all languages. Among these vital documents are posters that describe the translation and interpreting services available and LEP individuals’ right to receive those services. You can read the full text of the bill here.
ATA was among the organizations that submitted slips of support in favor of the bill before the hearing on January 3. ATA is pleased to report that as of January 8, the bill was passed by both Houses and is now awaiting the governor’s signature.
This bill is a major step toward codifying the right to language access in New Jersey’s state law. LEP individuals already have a federal right to language access by virtue of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but many entities that receive federal funding are unaware of their obligations to provide meaningful language access, and the LEP individuals served by those entities are not aware of (or able or willing to avail themselves of) this right.
The ATA Advocacy Committee would like to thank everyone who took action in support of this bill and to the New Jersey state legislators who prioritized language access for their constituents and their state.
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