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Bill requiring airport signage in multiple languages passes House

WASHINGTON — A bill that would require signs at the nation’s major airports, including McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, to be written in multiple languages was passed by the House on Thursday on a voice vote.

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said she introduced the bill to make sure the Transportation Services Administration “goes the extra mile in Las Vegas and at airports all across the country to communicate with the traveling public.”

Republican Rep. Mark Green of Tennessee, who controlled GOP floor debate on the legislation, said: “I’m fully in support of this bill and I want to give accolades to the gentlewoman who put it together. This is fantastic and we need to get it done.”

Earlier this year, the House Homeland Security Committee approved the bill by Titus without objection.

“It’s really just a basic courtesy,” said Titus, a member of the committee. “I know we all appreciate seeing signs in English when we travel abroad.”

House lawmakers are seeking someone in the Senate to write a companion bill, or sponsor the House version just passed.

In introducing the legislation, Titus said “you shouldn’t have to worry about missing a flight just because you don’t speak English.”

Titus cited U.S. Census Bureau statistics to show roughly 65 million individuals in the United States older than age 5 speak English with difficulty.

She said an estimated 34 percent of Clark County residents in Nevada speak a language other than English at home.

Las Vegas is an international tourist destination. Last year, 50 million passengers traveled through McCarran airport, according to Clark County figures.

Titus noted that as an international city, Las Vegas and its international airport should be comfortable to “all residents and visitors alike.”

“Making signs at airports easier to understand for non-English speakers and those with vision impairments in common sense,” Titus said.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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