Capitol Update

May 22, 2023

My colleagues and I are celebrating the passage of House Bill 6909, which reflects the interests of the overwhelming majority of Latin Americans in our state and the rest of the world. The bill, which I am proud to co-sponsor, would allow official government documents and forms of state agencies to use the words Latino, Latina, and Latine when relevant to the Latin community.

The intent of the bill is to address Latin terminology in government only. We encourage individuals to use their freedom to identify themselves however they like in their private lives, but surveys have shown that most members of the Latin American community do not identify as Latinx. Some, like myself, find the term offensive. If Latin Americans do not want to be labeled as Latinx, we should not be putting that term on official government documents.

As you can see on the board behind us in the picture below, there was bipartisan support for the legislation with a vote count of 146-0 last Thursday. I am happy to see both sides of the aisle coming together unanimously on such a complex issue. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Language is complicated and always evolving but the Spanish language does not have many words with the letter X. It can be difficult for native speakers to pronounce Latinx in a way that feels comfortable. Some members of the LGBTQIA+ community prefer the term Latine due to its inclusivity with Spanish speakers.