From the NY Post:
All businesses in the city would be required to post signs in English, under a proposed state law aimed at merchants who erect signs in foreign languages only.
Firms that fail to comply would face fines ranging from $250 to $5,000 for repeat offenses.
The measure, sponsored by state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens), applies only to the city and requires any firm that erects a foreign-language sign to also post a sign of equal size in English.
Avella admitted he’s touching the third rail of politics, given New York’s sensitivity to immigrants who speak hundreds of different languages. But he said it’s fair.
“I know it’s controversial. But it’s time to move forward on this. English is the most prevalent language in the country,” said Avella.
Critics have blasted English-language-requirements as a violation of free speech and discrimination against newcomers.
But Avella defended the bill as pro-safety because firefighters and other responders would be able to more speedily respond to an emergencies by knowing the type of facility they’re entering.