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Tomblin OKs Bill Requiring West Virginia Business Done in English

Perry Bennett
West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed a bill requiring West Virginia state business to be done in English.

The Democrat signed the bill Friday after the Republican-led Legislature passed it.

It would require using English in official records, documents, rules, orders and publications. Official programs, meetings, transactions and actions would also have to be in English.

It would apply to state and local governments.

Some exceptions would exist. Other languages could be used to protect public health and safety, promote commerce, teach or study other languages, comply with federal disabilities law, protect the rights of criminal defendants or victims, use proper names or legal terms, or comply with the state or U.S. Constitution.

It doesn't apply to officials who are campaigning or aiding constituents.

It becomes effective in late May.

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