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Alaska State Language

English

Adopted on May 1, 1998

The English language was adopted as the official language of the state of Alaska on May 1, 1998. Alaska passed the official English language initiative in 1998, but it has been blocked by a state judge pending trial (the case is still pending). 14.3% of Alaska's residents speak a language other than English; and 2.4% are linguistically isolated. The most common of these languages are Yupik, Spanish, Tagalog (Philipino), and Inupik.

Alaska State Language: English

Alaska Law

The law designating the official Alaska state languages is found in the 2015 Alaska Statutes, specifically Title 44 (State Government), Chapter 44.12 (HOLIDAYS, AGENCY OFFICE HOURS, AND OFFICIAL LANGUAGE), Section 300-330

TITLE 44. STATE GOVERNMENT
Chapter 44.12 HOLIDAYS, AGENCY OFFICE HOURS, AND OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Sec. 44.12.300. Official languages.

Article 04. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Sec. 44.12.300. Findings and purpose.
The people of the State of Alaska find that English is the common unifying language of the State of Alaska and the United States of America, and declare a compelling interest in promoting, preserving and strengthening its use.

Sec. 44.12.310. Official languages.
(a) The English, Inupiaq, Siberian Yupik, Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Alutiiq, Unangax, Dena'ina, Deg Xinag, Holikachuk, Koyukon, Upper Kuskokwim, Gwich'in, Tanana, Upper Tanana, Tanacross, Han, Ahtna, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian languages are the official languages of the State of Alaska.
(b) The designation of languages other than English as official languages of the state under (a) of this section does not require or place a duty or responsibility on the state or a municipal government to print a document or record or conduct a meeting, assembly, or other government activity in any language other than English.

Sec. 44.12.320. Scope.
The English language is the language to be used by all public agencies in all government functions and actions. The English language shall be used in the preparation of all official public documents and records, including all documents officially compiled, published or recorded by the government.

Sec. 44.12.330. Applicability.
AS 44.12.300 - 44.12.390 apply to the legislative and executive branches of the State of Alaska and all political subdivisions, including all departments, agencies, divisions and instrumentalities of the State, the University of Alaska, all public authorities and corporations, all local governments and departments, agencies, divisions, and instrumentalities of local governments, and all government officers and employees.

RECENT BILLS THAT WILL MODIFY THIS
HB 216 OFFICIAL LANGUAGES OF THE STATE
HISTORY
(Sec. 1 1998 Ballot Measure No. 6; am Sec. 1, 2 ch. 116 SLA 2014)

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