Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HB3222
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Full Text of HB3222  103rd General Assembly


Rep. Dagmara Avelar

Filed: 3/22/2023





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 3222, AS AMENDED,
3by replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
6Language Equity and Access Act.
7    Section 5. Legislative purpose. The purpose of this Act is
8to ensure that all residents of the State have equal access to
9State services and, in particular, to remove language as a
10barrier for persons who have limited English proficiency and
11who may, therefore, be excluded from equitable access to State
12information, programs, services, and activities. It is the
13intent of the General Assembly that the State adopt a language
14equity and access policy that incorporates federal guidance
15for ensuring meaningful access for persons with limited
16English proficiency as provided by Title VI of the Civil



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1Rights Act of 1964, U.S. Presidential Executive Order No.
213166 (Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited
3English Proficiency), U.S. Presidential Executive Order 13985
4(Strengthen Racial Equity and Support for Underserved
5Communities Through the Federal Government), U.S. Presidential
6Executive Order 14091 (Further Advancing Racial Equity and
7Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal
8Government), other non-discrimination provisions in federal
9statute, and any succeeding provisions of federal or state
10law, regulation, or guidance.
11    Section 10. Definitions.
12    In this Act:
13    "Covered entity" means any office, commission, board,
14authority, or other body that is directly responsible to an
15executive branch constitutional officer.
16    "Division of Language Equity and Access" or "DLEA" means
17the Division of Language Equity and Access within the
18Governor's Office of New Americans.
19    "Interpretation services" means listening to a
20communication in one language and orally converting it to
21another language in a manner that preserves the intent and
22meaning of the original message.
23    "Limited English proficient person" means a person, or the
24family member, caregiver, or decision maker of a person, who
25does not speak English as their primary language and who may



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1have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand
3    "Meaningful access" means the provision of services in a
4manner that is equally accessible, without delay, denial or
5difference, and is meaningful to all individuals seeking
6services, regardless of their ability to speak or understand
8    "State Agency" means executive agencies, departments,
9boards, commissions, and authorities directly responsible to
10the Governor.
11    "Translation services" means the conversion of text from
12one language to another in a written form to convey the intent
13and essential meaning of the original text.
14    "Vital documents" means documents that affect a person's
15access to, retention in, termination of, or exclusion from
16program services or benefits.
17    Section 15. Statewide Language Equity and Access.
18        This Act is created to ensure meaningful access to
19State programs and resources for persons with limited English
20proficiency. This Act requires the State to, at a minimum:
21        (1) compile a Language Needs Assessment Report based
22    on available U.S. Census data that identifies the
23    languages spoken throughout the State as described in
24    Section 30 of this Act;
25        (2) prepare a language access plan as detailed in



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1    Section 35 of this Act;
2        (3) develop a rating and compliance framework to
3    assess progress by State agencies and covered entities,
4    including key performance indicators;
5        (4) prepare a compliance and progress report to be
6    submitted on an annual basis to the Governor and the
7    General Assembly by January 1 of every year;
8        (5) establish requirements for the availability of
9    interpretation and translation services;
10        (6) set standards for adequate staffing of bilingual
11    employees at State agencies and other covered entities,
12    including a methodology for monitoring implementation and
13    updating the State Services Assurance Act and the
14    Bilingual Employment Plan, based on current Language Needs
15    Use Assessment Report conducted under Section 30 of this
16    Act;
17        (7) incorporate language equity compliance provisions
18    in State contracts with vendors, grantees and purchase of
19    care entities;
20        (8) ensure that whenever an emergency, weather, health
21    or other crisis situation has been declared, the State's
22    Limited English Person population is adequately notified
23    of the emergency, information and any actions required,
24    and has equitable access to emergency resources; and
25        (9) create the Division of Language Equity and Access
26    within the Governor's Office of New Americans to monitor



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1    and provide expertise to ensure the implementation of this
2    Act.
3    Section 20. Division of Language Equity and Access.
4    The Division of Language Equity and Access is hereby
5created within the Governor's Office of New Americans to lead
6statewide efforts in the implementation of the State's
7language equity and access policy for Limited English
8Proficient persons and to ensure meaningful access to
9information, services, programs, and activities offered by
10State agencies and other covered entities, including
11departments, offices, commissions, boards, or other agencies,
12for Limited English Proficient persons. DLEA shall have a
13full-time Director who is bilingual and has experience in
14serving immigrant populations. The role of DLEA is to advance
15and monitor implementation of and compliance with this Act by:
16        (1) providing oversight, central coordination, and
17    technical assistance to State agencies and covered
18    entities in the implementation of language access
19    requirements under this Act or under any other law,
20    regulation, or guidance related to language access;
21        (2) reviewing and monitoring each State agency's
22    language access plan for compliance with this Act;
23        (3) consulting with language access coordinators, the
24    Language Equity and Access Advisory Council, and State
25    agency directors or their equivalent;



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1        (4) creating, distributing, and making available to
2    State agencies multilingual signage in the more frequently
3    encountered languages in the State, and other languages as
4    needed, informing individuals of the individual's right to
5    free interpretation services and how to request language
6    services;
7        (5) creating the complaint and investigation process
8    for Limited English Proficient persons to report Language
9    Equity and Access violations;
10        (6) developing recommendations for a statewide policy
11    and draft a corresponding plan for the utilization of
12    interpreters and translators, including standards for
13    certification and qualifications;
14        (7) developing multilingual websites with information
15    about DLEA and information about relevant policies,
16    standards, plans, and complaint processes;
17        (8) preparing an annual compliance report to be
18    submitted to the Governor and the General Assembly;
19        (9) working with the Language Equity and Access
20    Advisory Council to engage external stakeholders in policy
21    and implementation discussions; and
22        (10) addressing other issues as necessary to ensure
23    equity and meaningful participation for persons with
24    limited English proficiency.
25     The DLEA shall adopt administrative rules as necessary to
26implement and administer this Act.



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1    Section 25. Language Equity and Access Advisory Council.
2    (a) The Language Equity and Access Advisory Council is
3hereby established for the purposes of advising the Office of
4Language Equity and Access on:
5        (1) the development and implementation of language
6    equity and access policies and procedures;
7        (2) the quality of language services provided by State
8    agencies and covered entities; and
9        (3) the overall State competency in working with
10    persons with limited English proficiency.
11    (b) The Language Equity and Access Advisory Council shall
12consist of the following 18 members:
13        (1) one member of the Senate, appointed by the
14    President of the Senate;
15        (2) one member of the Senate, appointed by the
16    Minority Leader of the Senate;
17        (3) one member of the House of Representatives,
18    appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
19        (4) one member of the House of Representatives,
20    appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of
21    Representatives;
22        (5) three members representing the non-profit sector,
23    appointed by the President of the Senate, upon the
24    recommendation of the Asian American, Black, and Latino
25    Legislative Caucuses;



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1        (6) three members representing the non-profit sector,
2    appointed by the Speaker of the House, upon the
3    recommendation of the Asian American, Black, and Latino
4    Legislative Caucuses;
5        (7) six members, appointed by the Governor upon the
6    recommendation of non-profit organizations that serve or
7    advocate on behalf of immigrant and refugee communities;
8    and
9        (8) two members who are consumers of State services,
10    appointed by the Governor upon the recommendation of
11    non-profit organizations that serve or advocate on behalf
12    of immigrant and refugee communities.
13    (c) Appointments to the Language Equity and Access
14Advisory Council shall maximize representation of individuals
15from diverse language groups, diverse geographic areas of the
16State, and diverse professional backgrounds, and at least
17one-third of the persons appointed to the Language Equity and
18Access Advisory Council shall be individuals who reside in
19areas of the State outside of Cook County.
20    (d) Appointments to the Language Equity and Access
21Advisory Council are for 2-year terms, and the Language Equity
22and Access Advisory Council shall meet at least 4 times per
23year. Members of the Language Equity and Access Advisory
24Council shall appoint co-chairs at the Advisory Council's
25first meeting.



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1    Section 30. Statewide Language Use Needs Assessment.
2    The DLEA shall work with State agencies and covered
3entities and shall use other available State resources, such
4as the Office of New Americans, the Office of Equity, and the
5Department of Human Services Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant
6Services, to ensure the State compiles available U.S. Census
7data on languages used across the State, including the
8identification of geographic patterns and trend data. The
9report shall be compiled at least every 10 years in
10conjunction with the decennial federal Census but may be
11updated periodically using other Census data reports.
12    The Language Use and Needs Assessment report will be made
13available to State agencies and covered entities for the
14development of their Language Access Plans and overall
15improvement in service provision to Limited English
17    Section 35. Language Access Plans.
18    (a) Each State agency and all covered entities shall take
19reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access to services,
20programs, and activities by persons with limited English
21proficiency. Therefore, each State agency and covered entity
22shall prepare a language access plan, which will describe its
23Limited English Proficient service population, the policy and
24programmatic actions they will implement, and the metrics that
25will be used to measure compliance.



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1    (b) State agencies and covered entities shall designate a
2Language Access Coordinator that is responsible for the plan
3and language access plan activities.
4    (c) The adequacy of State agency and covered entities
5plans are determined by the totality of the circumstances,
6including the following 4 factors listed by federal guidance.
7Therefore, each language plan must begin with a language needs
8assessment that includes the following information:
9        (1) the number or proportion of persons with limited
10    English proficiency served or encountered in the eligible
11    service population;
12        (2) the frequency with which persons with limited
13    English proficiency come in contact with the services,
14    programs, or activities;
15        (3) the nature and importance of the services,
16    programs, or activities; and
17        (4) the resources available to the State or covered
18    entity and the costs.
19    (d) Furthermore, each State agency and covered entity
20should describe in its plans how it will accomplish all of the
22        (1) Subject to subsection (a), each State agency and
23    covered entity shall provide competent, timely translation
24    services to persons with limited English proficiency who
25    seek to access information, services programs, or
26    activities.



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1        (2) Subject to subsection (a), each State agency and
2    covered entity shall provide translation services of vital
3    documents to limited English proficient persons who seek
4    to access information, services, programs, or activities,
5    as follows:
6            (A) translation services of vital documents for
7        each eligible limited English proficient group that
8        constitutes 5% or 1,000 members, whichever is less, of
9        the population of persons eligible to be served or
10        likely to be affected or encountered; or
11            (B) if there are fewer than 50 persons in a limited
12        English proficient group that reaches the 5% threshold
13        in paragraph (1), written notice in the primary
14        language to the limited English proficient language
15        group of the right to receive competent oral
16        interpretation of those written materials free of
17        cost.
18    (e) The DLEA shall develop a template and mechanism for
19collecting, storing, and analyzing Language Access Plans.
20    (f) Following the first submitted plan, language access
21plans shall include an assessment of performance metrics for
22the previous year.
23    (g) Upon review, the DLEA shall provide guidance and
24feedback to each State agency and covered entity, including
25any corrective action recommendations to ensure compliance
26with the language access plans.



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1    (h) Language access plans and evaluations shall be made
2public and accessible.
3    (i) The DLEA shall develop a rating framework for
4evaluation of language access plans and implementation.
5    Section 40. Compliance and Accountability.
6    (a) By January 1, 2024, and every January 1 thereafter,
7the DLEA shall submit a Language Equity and Access Compliance
8Report to the General Assembly. The Compliance Report shall be
9based on information collected during the preceding fiscal
10year and shall, at minimum, include:
11        (1) key performance metrics for the previous year;
12        (2) the following information for each State agency
13    and covered entity:
14            (A) the language access plan, including language
15        access services offered;
16            (B) the number and percentage of people who are
17        Limited English Proficient Persons who use the
18        services of the State agency or covered entity, listed
19        by language other than English;
20            (C) a roster of bilingual employees, their titles,
21        office locations, the languages other than English
22        that the persons speak, and whether or not the
23        employees are certified as bilingual in that language;
24            (D) the name and contact information of the
25        language access coordinator;



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1            (E) a description of any use of telephone-based
2        interpretation services, including the number of times
3        telephone-based interpretation services were used, the
4        languages for which they were used, and the number of
5        times bilingual employees provided in-person
6        interpretation services;
7            (F) a description of the:
8                (i) telephone requests for translation or
9            interpretation services;
10                (ii) in-person requests for translation or
11            interpretation services; and
12                (iii) electronic requests for translation or
13            interpretations services;
14            (G) public notices of the availability of
15        translation or interpretation services upon request;
16            (H) an ongoing employee development and training
17        strategy to maintain well trained bilingual employees
18        and general staff;
19            (I) a list and description of all written
20        translated materials provided, including the total
21        number, languages, and services requested; and
22            (J) a list and description of all complaints
23        received, including information on the number of
24        complaints, the method received, the breakdown of
25        affected languages, the written response to each
26        complaint, and the time frame within which each



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1        complaint was handled.
2    (b) State agencies shall respond to language access
3complaints, in writing, within 30 days after their receipt.
4All complaints and responses shall be recorded in each
5agency's respective annual report.
6    (c) The DLEA may investigate potential violations of this
7Act if not resolved by the State agency or covered entity. The
8DLEA may attempt to resolve non-compliance with this Act by
9any State agency or covered party through informal processes,
10including mediation and conference and conciliation.
11    (d) If, after an investigation and attempt to resolve an
12incidence of Department non-compliance, the DLEA is unable to
13resolve the matter, the DLEA may transmit a written finding of
14non-compliance, specifying the nature of the non-compliance
15and the recommended corrective measures, to the Governor, the
16Language Equity and Access Advisory Council, and it may
17transmit the same information in the annual compliance report
18to the General Assembly.
19    Section 45. Administrative support.     The Governor's
20Office shall provide administrative and other support to the
21Division of Language Equity and Access.
22    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect on July
231, 2023.".