IOWA SF 165
Section 1. NEW SECTION. 1.18 IOWA
ENGLISH LANGUAGE REAFFIRMATION.
SIGNED INTO LAW, 1 MARCH 2002
1. The general assembly of the state of Iowa finds and
declares the following:
a. The state of Iowa is comprised
of individuals from different ethnic, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds.
The state of Iowa encourages the assimilation of Iowans into Iowa's rich
b. Throughout the history of Iowa
and of the United States, the common thread binding individuals of differing
backgrounds together has been the English language.
c. Among the powers reserved to
each state is the power to establish the English language as the official
language of the state, and otherwise to promote the English language within
the state, subject to the prohibitions enumerated in the Constitution of
the United States and in laws of the state.
2. In order to encourage every citizen of this state to
become more proficient in the English language, thereby facilitating participation
in the economic, political, and cultural activities of this state and of
the United States, the English language is hereby declared to be the official
language of the state of Iowa.
3. Except as otherwise provided for in subsections 4 and
5, the English language shall be the language of government in Iowa.
All official documents, regulations, orders, transactions, proceedings,
programs, meetings, publications, or actions taken or issued, which are
conducted or regulated by, or on behalf of, or representing the state and
all of its political subdivisions shall be in the English language.
For the purposes of this section, "official action"
means any action taken by the government in Iowa or by an authorized officer
or agent of the government in Iowa that does any of the following:
a. Binds the government.
b. Is required by law.
c. Is otherwise subject to scrutiny
by either the press or the public.
4. This section shall not apply to:
a. The teaching of languages.
b. Requirements under the federal
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
c. Actions, documents, or policies
necessary for trade, tourism, or commerce.
d. Actions or documents that protect
the public health and safety.
e. Actions or documents that facilitate
activities pertaining to compiling any census of populations.
f. Actions or documents that protect
the rights of victims of crimes or criminal defendants.
g. Use of proper names, terms
of art, or phrases from languages other than English.
h. Any language usage required
by or necessary to secure the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and
laws of the United States of America or the Constitution of the State of
5. Nothing in this section shall be construed to do any
of the following:
a. Prohibit an individual member
of the general assembly or officer of state government, while performing
official business, from communicating through any medium with another person
in a language other than English, if that member or officer deems it necessary
or desirable to do so.
b. Limit the preservation or use
of Native American languages, as defined in the federal Native American
Languages Act of 1992.
c. Disparage any language other
than English or discourage any person from learning or using a language
other than English.
Sec. 2. NEW SECTION. 4.14 GENERAL RULES OF
CONSTRUCTION FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LAWS.
It is presumed that English language requirements
in the public sector are consistent with the laws of Iowa and any ambiguity
in the English language text of the laws of Iowa shall be resolved, in
accordance with the ninth and tenth amendments of the Constitution of the
United States, not to deny or disparage rights retained by the people,
and to reserve powers to the states or to the people.
Sec. 3. CITATION. This Act may be cited as the "Iowa English
Language Reaffirmation Act of 2001".