Sophie Nieto-Munoz | March 30, 2022 | NJ Monitor |
More than 150 languages are spoken in homes across New Jersey, one of the most diverse states in the country. Yet, important state documents and forms are usually required to be printed in only one language: English.
A new bill seeks to increase that number to 15 languages, a move its supporters say would encourage more civic engagement and increase access to minority residents and the state’s growing ethnic populations.
“Language access is the key to building trust and building community. People definitely become more informed, more engaged, and they just want to be involved more,” said Raina Mustafa, executive director of the Clifton-based Palestinian American Community Center.
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), would go further than similar language-access legislation in other states. Hawaii, California, and New York all require state documents to be translated into the states’ 10 most frequently spoken languages.
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