Senate Bill No. 147
(By Senators Bowman, Bailey, Sharpe and Kimble)
[Introduced January 25, 1996; referred to the Committee
A BILL to amend article two, chapter two of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended,
by adding thereto a new section, designated section
thirteen, relating to designating English as the official
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article two, chapter two of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new section, designated section thirteen to read
ARTICLE 2. LEGAL HOLIDAYS; SPECIAL MEMORIAL DAYS; CONSTRUCTION
OF STATUTES; DEFINITIONS; OFFICIAL LANGUAGE.
§2-2-13. Official state language.
(a) Except as provided in subsection (b):
(1) This state and all political subdivisions of this state
shall act in English and in no other language.
(2) No entity to which this section applies shall make or
enforce a law, order, decree or policy which requires the use of
a language other than English.
(3) No governmental document is valid, effective or
enforceable unless it is in the English language.
(b) This state and all political subdivisions of this state
may act in a language other than English under any of the
(1) To assist students who are not proficient in the English
language, to the extent necessary to comply with federal law, by
giving educational instruction in a language other than English
to provide as rapid as possible a transition to English;
(2) To comply with other federal laws;
(3) To teach a student a foreign language as a part of a
required or voluntary educational curriculum;
(4) To protect public health or safety; and
(5) To protect the rights of criminal defendants or victims
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to designate English as
the official state language of West Virginia.
§2-2-13 is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring
have been omitted.