SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Bill pulled after high costs questioned

Thursday, Mar 16, 2017

* From the synopsis of HB 695

Provides that within one-year after the effective date of this amendatory Act, the Legislative Information System shall create a Spanish-language version of its website to provide legislative information. Specifies the legislative information to be placed on the Spanish-language website, and allows for the placement of additional unspecified information.

* The bill came up for a floor vote yesterday

“There is a segment, especially in my district, that are Spanish speaking and that follow the General Assembly and as a state representative, I want to commit to continue to have this bill and make sure we provide the best possible constituent services,” [sponsoring Rep. Silvana Tabares, D-Chicago] said.

Tabares estimated the cost of the translation, if initial software could not do it alone, at between $60,000 and $100,000 to pay for another website or software company. But she added that if a third party was needed to add Spanish to the site, it would have an estimated cost of between $800,000 to $1.5 million.

That estimate prompted House Republicans to offer up free options, such as Google Translate. It also had [Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego] holding up his own tablet to Democrats to show that he translated the website for free using Google.

“Why are we against a great free bipartisan solution?” State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said before the bill was pulled. “We should have a Kumbaya and have a beer afterwards. Let’s pull this bill out of the record, let’s amend it. Let’s do something that’s free and help people who speak every language.”

The bill is now on Postponed Consideration.

The problem with any translating software (free or paid) is whether it can pick up nuances. Statutes are usually written in precise ways. Things can literally be lost or misconstrued in translation.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:08 am:

    No matter how good the translation, one language should be the controlling version. In Illinois that would be English.

    When I worked in Saudi Arabia, the Arabic language contract controlled. Their country, their rules.

  2. - Bothanspy - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    This last paragraph is important. I was an SPSA for an agency and helped oversee this for our org. The Google translate was generally fine for schedules, directions etc. When translating legal statutes, it, came up short. For us, the legal language spelled out appeal rights and approval and denial legal citations. Ambiguity or translation errors here make it easy for the agency to lose cases on appeal. So in the end, you are going to need someone to validate all of the language translation anyway.
    Another thing to realize is that Google translate is not static. It is an algorithm that is improved and refined. So how something is translated today is not necessarily how it will appear tomorrow. It is difficult to maintain a legal history.

  3. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    The idea that Batinick and Wheeler seriously offered Google Translate as an option does not speak well to their intelligence. It’s embarrassing, frankly, but have either of them flipped through the bills or statutes on the ILGA site?

  4. - swIFT taylor - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    To the last point on the post: during debate the sponsor was asked directly if her bill would mean that all text of all bills would be translated as well and she said no.

  5. - m - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    =Things can literally be lost or misconstrued in translation.=

    Yes, but the same thing happens with human translators. Not every word translates directly. And most native english speakers (including many leg staffers) have a hard time understanding bill text.

    Just translating the synopsis would be far better, and I would assume google could handle that just fine (plain english and all). Could be problematic for bills that have been shelled and amended, but that’s another issue for native english speakers as well. The synopsis should represent the bill in current form, not as filed (except that no one actually wants that level of transparency).

  6. - Nick Name - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:18 am:

    “Statutes are usually written in precise ways.”

    If only.

  7. - Anon - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    Students of the classics know how agonizing it can be to translate not only words but intent. Visit a visit the King James Bible.

  8. - Swift - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    Looks like the bill initially limits the Spanish language to certain segments of the website and does not include bill language, public acts, or statutes.

  9. - Downstate - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:26 am:

    Could the Spanish translation (done by human or computer) then be used in court to argue that the statute was not the same as the English one? Hence, the citizen could chose to follow the translation of their choice?

  10. - SAP - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:27 am:

    Rep. Hernandez tried this a few years ago for all forms used by any state agency and the cost estimates ran into the millions for some agencies. Well-intentioned idea, but crazy complicated and crazy expensive.

  11. - swIFT taylor - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Its this easy! Did it in 2 minutes for free.


    Traditional chinese:

  12. - GV - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:41 am:

    I used Google Translate to translate the synopsis of a property tax bill that Rep. Batinick introduced from English to Spanish and back to English.

    Translated Version:

    Modifies the Tax Code on Property. Provides that, as of fiscal year 2017, the Property Tax Extension Limitation Act applies to all tax districts, including rule of origin units. Provides that, as of the tax year 2017, the extension limitation under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Act is 0% or the voter-approved rate of increase. Preempts the start rule. Modifies the Law of Mandates of the State to demand its implementation without reimbursement. Cash immediately.


    Amends the Property Tax Code. Provides that, beginning with the 2017 levy year, the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law applies to all taxing districts, including home rule units. Provides that, beginning with the 2017 levy year, the extension limitation under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law is 0% or the rate of increase approved by the voters. Preempts home rule. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement. Effective immediately.

  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    Every day, all over the country, citizens, lawmakers, lawyers and judges disagree on the meanings of statutes written in English.

    You think GA members are going to agree on a Spanish translation?

  14. - Gooner - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:45 am:

    I’m not one of those ranting “ENGLISH ONLY” people, but as to this, I would prefer to see English only.

    As others have referenced, the question is whether there would be a precise translation.

    There could be a disclaimer on the Spanish version stating that the English version controls, but then you really are doing a disservice to Spanish-speaking people by offering something that may not be accurate.

    I have family members who routinely speak a foreign language. It is a wonderful aspect of American culture.

    However, when it comes to official documents and official records, it really should be in one language.

  15. - Saluki - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Why not add Japanese, French, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, and Portuguese while we are at it. Maybe throw in the other 7000 languages around the world too!

  16. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Our broke state should not just stop at paying 7 figures to translate everything into Spanish. There are probably at least two dozen languages we should translate every bill into.

    Why should the Spanish speakers get special treatment?

  17. - CG - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    We live in America, English folks.

  18. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    What would it cost to get a translator to make sense of the governor and his GOMB crew?

    The proposed budget is balanced, but he needs unilateral power to repeal laws to cut $7 billion to make the proposed balanced budget balanced, but they can’t identify a dime of what could be cut from the proposed balanced budget to make the proposed balanced budget balanced.

    If not a translator, a cryptographer, maybe? Or a psychiatrist?

  19. - bothanspy - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    –I used Google Translate to translate the synopsis of a property tax bill that Rep. Batinick introduced from English to Spanish and back to English.—

    GV’s exercise is exactly why the Google service will not work. While the translation is generally close, close doesn’t really cut it for legal language. Home rule units =/= rule of origin units. Effective immediately =/= cash immediately :)
    Its a great idea to save money, though. There is no reason to start with the Google translated version and edit it from there. Surely, than can save money instead of starting from scratch.

  20. - downstate commissioner - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:19 am:

    While I wish that I had taken Spanish in high school, My German immigrant grandfather refused to teach his sons German. “We speak English in America.” And that was that.
    While I am not anti-immigrant, I don’t understand why we have to label everything in Spanish.
    Take the money for this and hire more Spanish to English teachers: assimilate these people, don’t make special rules….

  21. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    I’m OK with some sort of translation if they can control the costs and it is for convenience only. Any legal challenges, etc. would have to be based upon the English text which would control.

  22. - Downstate - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    “Any legal challenges, etc. would have to be based upon the English text which would control.”

    Exactly! If that’s the case, then the exactness of the translation is not as important.

  23. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    Downstate Commissioner,

    My Prussian great-grandfather had a similar rule. He left Prussia for good reasons.

  24. - A guy - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:47 pm:

    These bills all have a summary. Maybe just translate the summary in Spanish. For nuance, the Latino people will have to do what everyone else does; hire a lawyer or a lobbyist or both.

  25. - Huh? - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 12:56 pm:

    I am sure a good lawyer could make a civil rights case out of this issue.

  26. - Iamthepita - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 1:41 pm:

    If the Deaf, DeafBlind and the Hard of Hearing popular has access to services in language translation (e.g. American Sign Language Interpreter Services), why shouldn’t any other language be deprived from information in the language that they understand best?

  27. - NorthsideNoMore - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    Captain you couldn’t be more wrong… Why does broke Illinois need to spend more money we don’t have? Some folks are ready spend big bucks when the simple solution is right in front of us…Google translates dozens of languages…. this internet thingy is pretty cool more people of all languages should try it.

  28. - IllinoisBoi - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 2:45 pm:

    Not sure how relevant this is, but it’s interesting:

    ‘English is Illinois’s official language. Illinois was one of the first states in America to pass an official language law, though its first official language was not English but “American”. In 1923, Representative Washington J. McCormick of Montana had failed to pass a bill in the United States Congress declaring “American” to be the official language of the United States. Following the bill’s failure, Senator Frank Ryan introduced a similar bill to the Illinois General Assembly. The bill passed with the support of Irish and Jewish politicians in Chicago, who, by rejecting the term “English”, wanted to show their opposition to British policies in Ireland and Palestine, respectively. In 1969, another act of the General Assembly replaced “American” with “English.”‘

  29. - Veil of Ignorance - Thursday, Mar 16, 17 @ 6:03 pm:

    Fyi google translate without human review will lead to pretty inaccurate translations.

  30. - 1: - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 6:03 am:

    I am really loving the theme/design of your website. Do you ever run into
    any browser compatibility issues? A number of my
    blog visitors have complained about my site not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari.
    Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?

  31. - 1: - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 6:14 am:

    If you would like to take a great deal from this article then you have to apply these methods to your won blog.

  32. - 1: - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 6:18 am:

    Fabulous, what a website it is! This webpage provides useful data to us, keep it up.

  33. - Late to the Party - Friday, Mar 17, 17 @ 7:55 am:

    In Illinois the official language is English. this is by state law. Why create web sites or forms or anything else in another language?

    Spanish? OK German? sure. Navajo? Why not. Icelandic? welcome to the party.

TrackBack URI

Post your comment... And please take a half second to come up with a nickname. It makes following the posts easier for everyone... Thanks

In other words, do your best to be civilized and smart.

* Mendoza files intent to appeal legislative pay ruling
* Kinda like kiddie soccer
* It is time to reform civil asset forfeiture
* Paper calls Mendoza "another slave to Madigan's Chicago Democrats"
* Where do the candidates stand on marijuana?
* Kennedy has hereditary disorder
* *** LIVE *** Session coverage
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...








* Madigan Accuses Rauner Of False Statements - WIBQ..
* Madigan To Rauner: You're Making 'False Stateme.....
* Madigan To Rauner: You're Making 'False Stateme.....

* EXCHANGE: Police simulator offers reality
* Man dead after being shocked by power lines in Illinois
* Pre-historic bison bones, mastodon tooth in Illinois exhibit
* Farmers report Illinois peaches survive late-season freeze
* Northeastern Illinois: Jarrett to give commencement speech
* Suburban Chicago man gets 15-yr sentence in cocaine case
* Chicago activists call for transparency in ICE shooting
* The Latest: Activists call for transparency in ICE shooting
* AP Exclusive: Lottery manager still on job after firing
* FairPoint, Consolidated shareholders approve $1.5B merger

* Schock's lawyers say informant in case broke law
* Manar, McCann push bill to stop privatization of prison jobs
* No quick fixes for struggling Illinois coal industry
* Mendoza pays community care providers some of what they're owed
* Illinois Lottery manager still on job after firing
* Make that death, taxes and fraud in filing season
* Illinois House speaker's letter rebukes governor's claims about Thompson Center
* Sen. Andy Manar files new school funding reform bill
* Manar files new school funding reform bill
* Medical marijuana use rejected for intractable pain, autism

* Here's a measure of the opioid problem in Chicago and Illinois
* Peoples Gas infrastructure budget soars despite regulator scrutiny
* AbilityLab CEO talks Obamacare, Roger Ebert and what's next in rehab care
* Everyone is suddenly an outsider in Illinois' election races
* Lottery manager still on job after firing

* Etihad to lend US-bound passengers iPads as ban workaround
* Police respond to Capitol Hill incident; shots fired
* Dylan to meet Nobel academy to receive literature prize
* Ford recalls 440K vehicles for fire risk, door latch trouble
* Bernadette Peters revisits the songbook she made famous
* It’s over: Britain files for divorce from the European Union
* Police: Suspect battered two elderly women in Aurora
* Police: Suspect pointed cellphone in fitting room in Palatine
* Dense fog advisory in effect through Wednesday morning
* Man shot in Englewood

* Bill O'Reilly apologizes for comparing Maxine Waters' hair to a 'James Brown wig'
* Daughter of author who wrote 'Marry My Husband' column to finish late-mother's project
* Senate Democrats offer to work with Trump on health care — if he ends attack on Obamacare
* Bill O'Reilly's 'James Brown wig' comment is the latest example of tuning out women
* Kris Bryant signs deal as mobile game endorser
* Apple's Chicago River flagship taking shape
* Cavalia's white big top a lesson for George Lucas
* Indonesian man swallowed by python, villagers and reports say
* Why is Ryan Pace saying such silly things about Bears quarterbacks?

» Madigan To Rauner: Stop 'False Statements'
» Madigan To Rauner: You're Making 'False Statements'
» Ex-Congressman's Lawyers: Informant In Schock Case Broke Law
» Chicago’s Inspector General Makes Affordable Housing Recommendations
» Calder Statue To Be Removed From Willis Tower
» Blues Museum Planned For Chicago, Again
» Activists Call For Transparency In ICE Shooting
» Rural Residents Push Factory Farm Legislation
» Lawyer: ICE Agent Shot Unarmed Chicago Man As He Opened Door
» Rauner Pushing Privatized Toll Lanes On I-55

* Schock's lawyers say informant in case broke law
* Manar, McCann push bill to stop privatization of prison jobs
* No quick fixes for struggling Illinois coal industry
* E.J. Dionne: The GOP's lost health care conscience
* Michael Gerson: How Trump can get his groove back
* Catherine Rampell: Trump's latest impossible promise
* Mendoza pays community care providers some of what they're owed
* Illinois Lottery manager still on job after firing
* Make that death, taxes and fraud in filing season
* Illinois House speaker's letter rebukes governor's claims about Thompson Center

* One giant leap: B-N native seeks sponsor to send project to moon
* Three Macoupin communities among those receiving federal CDBG funding
* MidAmerican encourages customers behind on bills to call utility
* Podcast: Broadcaster Steve Kelly 03/29/17
* Four area counties rank in top 20 for health
* Fischer’s still up for sale after owners reject $800,000 mystery bid
* DACC ends tuition waivers for dual-credit high-schoolers
* Urbana school facilities panel adjusts its priorities
* Tom Kacich: A taste of their own medicine
* The Great Outdoors: Turkey hunting and bees' favorite flowers

* AT&T adds five suburbs to high-speed fiber internet network
* Fire badly damages South Elgin KinderCare
* Playoff fire awaits Jones, Werenski, more young defensemen
* Fans can look forward to some major changes in NFL games
* The Latest: Sweden wants 'result-oriented' Brexit talks

* Rep. Hultgren accepting summer intern appl...
* Protesters converge on US Rep. Randy Hultg...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren reflects on busines...
* Illinois GOP lawmakers say the fight to fi...
* US Rep. Randy Hultgren accepting internshi...
* Veterans seek answers at forum with US Rep...
* Our View: Time for Randy Hultgren to hold ...
* New shots at Ryancare from Hultgren, Raune...
* Quick News - The Herald-News
* GOP congressman appears to distance himsel...

* More Than 25 Democrats Pledge to Oppose Su......
* Durbin to vote against Trump's Supreme Cou......

* Local Head Start Programs To Get A Boost -......
* Local Head Start Programs To Get A Boost -......

* Why are CBD products sold over the counter some places and tightly regulated in others?
* Terrence Malick loves us—he just has a peculiar way of showing it
* Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers #8 with Diane Ravitch and Kevin Coval.
* Cook County State’s Attorney Foxx: “Put our bodies in front” if ICE agents try to seize immigrants.
* Better Locker Rooms: It's Not Just A Transgender Thing
* REALTORS® give IE support to reelect Burns in Geneva
* REALTORS® give IE support to reelect McLaughlin in Barrington Hills
* Going out in the underworld on the gig poster of the week
* The multidisciplinary Tesseract explores queer identity through the lens of science fiction
* City Council expected to renew ‘sanctuary city’ status, and other Chicago news

* April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Everyone Has a Role to Play - Illinois DCFS to hold events in Chicago, Peoria, Edwardsville and Carterville
* Governor Highlights and Reaffirms Commitment to Strengthening Illinois' Ethical Standards
* Rauner, Durkin Call on General Assembly to Pass I-55 Resolution
* Rauner Urges Swift Action on State-City Pension Deal as House GOP Readies Its Votes
* Governor Announces Appointment

* Watch the Galaxy S8 Unpacked event LIVE at 11am Eastern (Video)
* [Video] LG G6 unboxing: First look
* Watch Samsung unveil the Galaxy S8 at Unpacked 2017
* Facebook Camera gets beefed up with more Snapchat-like features
* OG Fossil, Casio and Tag Heuer smartwatches are the first to get Android Wear 2.0… for real
* Apple Pay officially launches in Taiwan with seven local banks in its corner
* President Trump is tweeting from both a ‘new iPhone’ and Android, with security still a concern

* Robertson unfazed by rumors, feeling great
* Sox bring offense early, late vs. Royals
* May day: Rookie wins center-field job
* May the best kind of spring surprise
* Inbox: Can Sox gain from keeping Quintana?
* White Sox get good news on Rodon, Petricka
* White Sox send Bourjos to Rays

Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller