On March 11, Rep. Mike Honda, Chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, introduced the “One America, Many Voices Act of 2010”, which recognizes the importance of bi- and multi-lingual skills in America’s workforce.  The One America, Many Voices Act, also known as the Bilingual Pay Bill, provides a 5 percent incentive to the base pay of Federal employees whose position requires the use of bi- or multi-lingual skills, but who currently receive the same pay as workers in the same job without the same skill requirement. “To improve both our nation’s ability to provide language-appropriate intelligence and security, and America’s capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver government services,” said Rep Honda, “we must be able to retain a federal workforce that is capable of communicating with an increasingly diverse constituency, both within our borders and without.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over 19 percent of the U.S. population, or 55 million people, speak a language other than English at home.  The native-born population with Limited English Proficiency nearly doubled between 2000 and 2005.

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