While House Bill 315 sits gathering dust in the House F.I.R.E.S. committee...we have this "wheel spinning" instead!
Subject: While House Bill 315 sits, gathering dust, in the House F.I.R.E.S. committee...we have this "wheel spinning" instead!
Round the Rotunda: Apathy abounds at the Statehouse, comprende?
Posted on cleveland.com by Aaron Marshall May 23, 2008
Such was the case Thursday as House Republicans, joined by a trio of Democrats, saddled up to take charge of an issue that is ruining Ohio government down to its core. We are referring, of course, to the unchecked use of foreign languages such as Spanish in official state records and proceedings across Ohio.
Thanks to Rep. Robert Mecklenborg, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, no longer will state agencies be allowed to conduct business in any language other than English. In his floor speech, Mecklenborg explained that "no serious person is suggesting that we become an English-only state, but we decidedly do not want to become an English-optional state."
He then proceeded to list example after example of state and local government bodies in Ohio where languages other than English are being used. Just kidding. He didn't list any examples, but in his defense there was a real good reason for that -- no state or local government agency in Ohio uses any language other than English. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
Even the Ohio Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs conducts all of its official business in English, as one Columbus Democrat, Rep. Dan Stewart, pointed out during the debate. If you don't believe me, just go online and read up on their policies and procedures. (Well, um, only if you can read English.)
The bill also lists exceptions to the policy permitting languages other than English when needed to comply with state and federal law and to protect the public health, safety or welfare. Or when it's needed to protect the rights of parties and witnesses in civil or criminal court. Or when it's needed to provide instruction in a foreign language or to help foreign students learn English. Or when the state needs to promote international trade and commerce. (There are a couple more "ors," but you get the picture.)
So what's the point of a partisan bill that doesn't accomplish anything while tapping into anti-immigrant passions? You may see the answer to that question broadcast on your TV screens before Election Day.
Note from John...this committee in the Ohio House (Financial Institutions, Real Estate and Securities-F.I.R.E.S), that HB 315 is sitting and collecting dust in contains these members below....might it not be a good idea to light a fire under them....especially the Chair, Rep. Widener? He calls the shots....in English!