Nathan Moore: cutting languages could cost Metro $250 million

Nathan Moore

Nathan Moore

Conservative attorney Nathan Moore reports here that cutting anything more than $495 of Metro government’s $110,000 annual bill for telephonic language assistance would cause Metro to lose $250 million of federal money:

As Councilman Crafton agreed at the debate on Tuesday, Metro spends $110,000.00 per year on our AT&T translation service. When Metro needs translation, they dial into this service, and the government is charged a per minute rate for its use (as in, there are not armies of interpreters in various languages sitting around in Metro government drawing salary – physical interpreters are largely only found in the Health Department and the courts).

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act (along with Executive Order 13166) determines that any local government department receiving federal funds must provide its services in multiple languages, because the law says we cannot disciminate against individuals based on national origin.

Here is the useage breakdown of Metro’s interpretation services (these numbers were provided to me by the mayor’s office)

Health                                    41.71%
Police / Sheriff                       33.13%
Juvenile / Courts                     7.95%
Metro Water                             6.62%
General Hospital/Bordeaux      9.43%
Nashville Career Advis.            0.71%

All of the above departments receive Title VI funds. The total is 99.55%. It appears I was more than generous with my previous estimate of 97%. This means that the passage of English Only could only affect 0.045% of the money spent, which means that Metro would save $495 per year. Or, we could just give back $250 million in federal funds each year.

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