Bills Reauthorizing Language Programs Advance

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Contact: Jared King

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***LEGISLATIVE ALERT***

Bills Reauthorizing Language Programs Advance

WASHINGTON–S 3546, a bill reauthorizing Native American Language programs, was reported out of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on September 20. An identical bill, HR 6399, was introduced in the House on September 13.

Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico is among the sponsors of S 3546; and New Mexico Representatives Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan and Steve Pearce, are the sponsors of HR 6399.

The bills would reauthorize the Native American Programs Act of 1974, which as amended is known as the Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act of 2006, for the period 2013 to 2017.

Authorization of appropriations for the language programs established in these laws expires this year.

Grants from these laws fund a variety of efforts aimed at preserving Native languages, including language preservation programs and language immersion schools.

The reauthorization now goes to the Senate for a vote, and must still be considered in Committee in the House.

With Congress expected to be out of session for most of the time before the election, it is unclear when such action might take place.

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