NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8742
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the state technology law, in relation to requiring the
office of information technology services to cooperate with all state
agencies in the implementation of language translation technology
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The purpose of this bill is to make amendments to Chapter 785 of the
Laws of 2021.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This chapter amendment would make changes to the implementation time
required for agencies to provide translation services on their websites.
In 2011, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 26, an important measure
to ensure that New York State agencies establish language access plans,
translate vital documents, and provide interpretation services for at
least the six most common non-English languages spoken by individuals
with limited English proficiency in the State of New York, based on
United States Census data.
In spite of Executive Order 26, the vast majority of State agency
websites do not offer users an easy to use on-page translation option.
The lack of such an option makes navigating important agency information
difficult for New Yorkers with limited English proficiency. This is
especially a problem during the COVID19 pandemic, when New Yorkers rely
on State agencies for vital public health information about the virus,
safety protocols, testing, and the vaccine.
As of April 15, 2021, the New York State Department of Health's COVID-19
vaccine eligibility site (am-i-eligible.covid
19vaccine.healthy.ny.gov)does feature an option to easily translate the
page into one of the six most common non-English languages. Unfortu-
nately, a similar option does not exist for DOH's main COVID19 website
(covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov) or virtually any other COVID-related
state agency website.
Recognizing the immediacy of the COVID-19 public health crisis, this
legislation would require New York State agency websites to incorporate
language translation technology for at least the 12 most-spoken non-
English languages on all COVID19-related websites within 30 days of the
bill's signing. All other state agency websites would be required to
follow suit in no more than 90 days.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
This act shall take effect on the same date and in the same manner as a
chapter of the laws of 2021 amending the state technology law relating
to requiring the office of information technology services to cooperate
with all state agencies in the implementation of language translation
technology, as proposed in legislative bills numbers 5.4716-A and A.
6215-A, takes effect.