Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB3762
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Full Text of SB3762  103rd General Assembly


Sen. Karina Villa

Filed: 4/4/2024





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 3762 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Language Equity and Access Act.
6    Section 5. Legislative purpose. The purpose of this Act is
7to ensure that all residents of the State have equal access to
8State services and, in particular, to remove language as a
9barrier for persons who have limited English proficiency and
10who may, therefore, be excluded from equitable access to State
11information, programs, services, and activities. It is the
12intent of the General Assembly that the State adopt a language
13equity and access policy that incorporates federal guidance
14for ensuring meaningful access for persons with limited
15English proficiency as provided by the Illinois Human Rights
16Act, the Illinois Civil Rights Act of 2003, Title VI of the



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1Civil Rights Act of 1964, U.S. Presidential Executive Order
2No. 13166 (Improving Access to Services for Persons with
3Limited English Proficiency), U.S. Presidential Executive
4Order 13985 (Advancing Racial Equity and Support for
5Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government), U.S.
6Presidential Executive Order 14091 (Further Advancing Racial
7Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the
8Federal Government), other non-discrimination provisions in
9federal or State statutes, and any succeeding provisions of
10federal or State law, regulation, or guidance.
11    Section 10. Definitions. In this Act:
12    "Interpretation" means listening to a communication in one
13language and orally converting it to another language in a
14manner that preserves the intent and meaning of the original
16    "Language assistance services" means oral and written
17language services needed to assist LEP individuals to
18communicate effectively with staff, and to provide LEP
19individuals with meaningful access to, and equal opportunity
20to participate fully in, the services, activities, or other
21programs administered by the State.
22    "Limited English proficient (LEP) person" means an
23individual who does not speak English as his or her primary
24language and who has a limited ability to read, speak, write,
25or understand English.



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1    "Meaningful access" means language assistance that results
2in accurate, timely, and effective communication at no cost to
3limited English proficient persons. For LEP persons,
4meaningful access denotes access that is not unreasonably
5restricted, delayed, or inferior as compared to access to
6programs or activities provided to English proficient
8    "State agency" means an executive agency, department,
9board, commission, or authority directly responsible to the
11    "Translation" means the conversion of text from one
12language to another in a written form to convey the intent and
13essential meaning of the original text.
14    "Vital documents" means paper or electronic written
15material that contains information that affects a person's
16access to, retention of, termination of, or exclusion from
17program services or benefits or is required by law.
18    Section 15. Statewide Language Equity and Access.
19    (a) This Act is created to ensure meaningful access to
20State programs and resources for limited proficient (LEP)
21persons. This Act requires the Governor's Office of New
22Americans, with the support of the Department of Human
23Services and any other relevant agencies to, at a minimum:
24        (1) prepare, based on available U.S. Census data, a
25    Language Needs Assessment Report that identifies the



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1    languages spoken throughout the State as described in
2    Section 25 of this Act;
3        (2) assist State agencies in the creation of language
4    access plans as detailed in Section 30 of this Act;
5        (3) develop standards and a compliance framework to
6    assess progress by State agencies, including both key
7    performance indicators and mechanisms to track them;
8        (4) provide annual reporting on State agency
9    compliance and progress to the Governor and the General
10    Assembly by December 31 of every year starting in 2026;
11        (5) establish requirements for the availability of
12    interpretation and translation services;
13        (6) set standards for adequate staffing of bilingual
14    employees at State agencies, including a methodology for
15    monitoring implementation and updating the State Services
16    Assurance Act and the Bilingual Employment Plan, based on
17    the Language Needs Assessment Report;
18        (7) incorporate language equity compliance provisions
19    in State contracts with vendors, grantees and purchase of
20    care entities; and
21        (8) ensure that whenever an emergency, weather,
22    health, or other crisis situation has been declared, the
23    State's limited English person population is adequately
24    notified of the emergency, information, any actions
25    required, and has equitable access to emergency resources.
26    (b) The Governor's Office of New Americans, with the



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1support of the Department of Human Services and any other
2relevant agencies, shall lead statewide efforts in the
3implementation of the State's language equity and access
4policy for LEP persons and to ensure meaningful access to
5information, services, programs, and activities offered by
6State agencies for LEP persons. The role of the Governor's
7Office of New Americans in this work is to advance and monitor
8implementation of and compliance with this Act by:
9        (1) providing oversight, central coordination, and
10    technical assistance to State agencies in the
11    implementation of language access requirements under this
12    Act or under any other law, rule, or guidance related to
13    language access;
14        (2) reviewing and monitoring each State agency's
15    language access plan for compliance with this Act;
16        (3) consulting with Language Access Coordinators and
17    State agency directors or their equivalent;
18        (4) creating, distributing, and making available to
19    State agencies multilingual signage in the more frequently
20    encountered languages in the State and other languages as
21    needed, informing individuals of the individual's right to
22    free interpretation services and how to request language
23    services;
24        (5) ensuring that each State agency develops an
25    internal complaint and review process specific to the
26    provision of language assistance services and supporting



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1    agencies in addressing complaints in a timely manner;
2        (6) developing recommendations for the use of
3    interpreters and translators, including standards for
4    certification and qualifications;
5        (7) assisting State agencies in developing
6    multilingual websites with information about relevant
7    policies, standards, plans, and complaint processes;
8        (8) assisting State agencies in preparing public
9    notices of the availability of translation or
10    interpretation services upon request;
11        (9) preparing an annual compliance report to be
12    submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly; and
13        (10) addressing other issues as necessary to ensure
14    equity and meaningful participation for persons with
15    limited English proficiency.
16    Section 20. Statewide Language Needs Assessment. The
17Governor's Office of New Americans, with the support of the
18Department of Human Services and any other relevant State
19agencies, shall compile available United States Census data on
20languages used across the State, including the identification
21of geographic patterns and trend data, to inform the Language
22Needs Assessment Report. The report shall be updated at least
23every 10 years in conjunction with the decennial federal
24Census but may be updated more frequently using other Census
25data reports.



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1    The Language Needs Assessment report shall be made
2available to State agencies for the development of their
3language access plans and overall improvement in service
4provision to LEP persons.
5    Section 25. Language access plans.
6    (a) Each State agency shall take reasonable steps to
7ensure meaningful access to services, programs, and activities
8by LEP persons. Therefore, each State agency shall prepare and
9submit a language access plan to the Governor's Office of New
10Americans. Each language access plan should describe the
11population of LEP persons the agency serves, the policy and
12programmatic actions the agency will implement to ensure
13meaningful access, and the metrics the agency will use to
14measure compliance with this Act.
15    (b) Each State agency shall designate a Language Access
16Coordinator who is responsible for overseeing the development
17and implementation of the agency's language access plan.
18    (c) The adequacy of a State agency's language access plan
19shall be determined by the totality of the circumstances,
20including an individualized assessment that balances the
21following factors:
22        (1) the number or proportion of LEP persons who are
23    served or encountered in the eligible service population
24    of the State agency;
25        (2) the frequency with which LEP persons come in



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1    contact with the services, programs, or activities
2    provided by the State agency;
3        (3) the nature and importance of the services,
4    programs, or activities provided by the State agency; and
5        (4) the resources available to the State agency and
6    the costs.
7    (d) Each State agency shall describe in its plans how it
8will provide all of the following:
9        (1) competent, timely translation and interpretation
10    services to LEP persons who are seeking access to
11    information, services, programs, or activities provided by
12    the State agency; and
13        (2) vital document translation services for LEP
14    persons who are seeking access to information, services,
15    programs, or activities provided by the State agency, as
16    follows:
17            (A) if there are more than 1,000 LEP persons in the
18        population of persons served by the State agency or if
19        LEP persons comprise more than 5% of the population of
20        persons served by the State agency; or
21            (B) if there are fewer than 50 persons served by
22        the State agency that reach the 5% threshold in
23        subparagraph (A), the State agency shall provide
24        written notice in the primary language to the LEP
25        persons of the right to receive competent oral
26        interpretation of those written materials free of



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1        cost.
2        (3) Following the first submitted plan, language
3    access plans shall include an assessment of performance
4    metrics for the previous State fiscal year.
5    (e) The Governor's Office of New Americans, with the
6support of the Department of Human Services and any other
7relevant State agencies, shall develop a template and
8mechanism for collecting and analyzing State agency language
9access plans.
10    (f) Following completion of the assessment, the Governor's
11Office of New Americans, with the support of the Department of
12Human Services and any other relevant State agencies, shall
13provide guidance and feedback to each State agency, including
14any recommendations to ensure compliance with this Act.
15    (g) Language access plans shall be made publicly
16accessible by each State agency.
17    Section 30. Compliance and accountability.
18    (a) No later than July 1, 2025, the Governor's Office of
19New Americans shall prepare and submit to the General Assembly
20a Language Equity and Access Status Report detailing the
21progress made by State agencies in the implementation of this
22Act, including the development of Language Access Plans.
23    (b) By December 31, 2026, and every December 31
24thereafter, the Governor's Office of New Americans shall
25submit a Language Equity and Access Compliance Report to the



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1General Assembly. The Compliance Report shall be based on
2information collected during the preceding fiscal year and
3shall, at a minimum, include:
4        (1) key performance metrics for the previous year;
5        (2) the following information for each State agency:
6            (A) a high-level summary of the language access
7        plan, including language access services offered;
8            (B) as applicable, the number and percentage of
9        LEP persons who use the services of the State agency,
10        listed by language other than English;
11            (C) aggregate data on the number of bilingual
12        employees, by title, who are in roles designated as
13        requiring a person employed in that position to speak
14        or write in a language other than English, including
15        the languages that the persons are required to speak
16        in that role, and whether the employees are certified
17        as bilingual in those languages;
18            (D) the name and contact information of the
19        Language Access Coordinator for each State agency;
20            (E) an ongoing employee development and training
21        strategy to maintain well-trained bilingual employees
22        and general staff;
23            (F) data on the use of any interpretation or
24        translation vendor services such as number and type of
25        language services requested, languages requested, and
26        any other relevant data; and



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1            (G) aggregate data on the number of complaints
2        filed and the status or resolution of the complaints.
3    (c) The Governor's Office of New Americans shall attempt
4to resolve a language access complaint received by a State
5agency if the agency does not resolve the complaint in a timely
6manner or the resolution is inadequate. Upon referral of a
7complaint, the Governor's Office of New Americans may engage
8in informal processes, including mediation, conference, and
9conciliation, to resolve the complaint.
10    Section 35. Implementation. The Governor's Office of New
11Americans may work in collaboration with the Department of
12Human Services and any other relevant State agency to
13implement this Act.
14    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
15becoming law.".