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Assembly OK´s Contract Language Law

California businesses that negotiate contracts in Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese or Korean would have to produce the written contracts in the same language under a bill approved by the state Assembly. Supporters say the measure would make it less likely that customers who speak little or no English would be hoodwinked by contracts they didn´t understand.

Opponents say the bill would encourage businesses to negotiate only in English. They say dishonest business people would still try to write misleading contracts and should be prosecuted using existing fraud laws. But the bill´s author, Assemblywoman Judy Chu of Monterey Park, says a current law that requires that contracts negotiated in Spanish also be printed in Spanish has worked well. She says that extending the law to cover Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Korean would cover 83% of the population.

Today´s 47 to 28 vote sent the bill to the Senate.