Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Official English passes House!

Jack Hoogendyk's bill to make English the official language of Michigan has passed the state House. It passed by a 73-32. All but two Republicans voted for the bill. One of the two opposed was State Rep. Tanya Shuitmaker of Van Buren county (why?).

Democrats voted roughly 2-1 against the bill, but 17 of them did vote for it. Based on this vote, it is unclear what Governor Granholm will do. The vote in the House would be enough to override a veto, but some Democrats could defect on such a vote.

From the Detroit News article:

"LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- English would become the state's official language under a bill passed Tuesday by the state House.

If the legislation becomes law, state agencies would not be required to provide documents in languages other than English. However, supporters of the bill said nothing in it would prohibit an agency from printing documents in a foreign language if it so desired.

The bill passed by a 73-32 vote and now goes to the Senate. The bill had bipartisan support, but it lost a few votes when it was changed on the House floor to remove some clarifying language that had been suggested by Democrats at the committee level.

Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, a Republican from Kalamazoo and the bill's sponsor, said having an official language would be a unifying factor and would encourage people to learn English. That would help more people raise their educational and income levels, he said.

"I believe what makes us strong as a state and a nation is what we share in common," Hoogendyk said. "One thing we share is our language." "

You can see what I wrote about this bill here, here, and here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anybody who thinks that the official language bill is a good idea might want to review previous legislative efforts in this area. Miami tried this same sort of nonsense in the early 80s and ended up repealing it in the early 90's as a counter-productive waste of time.