WXXI Local Stories
Thu October 6, 2011
Cuomo Issues Executive Order to Provide Government Services in Six Languages
By Karen DeWitt
Albany, New York –
Governor Cuomo's website will be translated into six languages and state agencies will provide free translation services under an executive order signed by Cuomo Thursday.
"Buon Giorno," the Italian-American Governor Cuomo said, beginning a news conference announcing his executive order.
Italian will be one of the six languages that will be available for state government on-line information, in addition to Spanish, Chinese, Russian, French and French Creole, says Governor Cuomo, who says translators will also be available, through a contract service, at state agencies.
"It's government's responsibility to figure out how to communicate with the person," said Cuomo. "Government serves the person. The person doesn't serve the government."
Cuomo says he expects the federal government to pick up part of the tab, but says even with a budget deficit projected at $2 billion dollars or more, he thinks the one and half million dollars to finance the increased access can be found.
The governor refused to be drawn into the larger national debate on immigration, but says New York "welcomes immigration", and says he says undocumented immigrants will not be barred from using the translation services.