Mo. House Endorses English-Only Driver's Tests

5 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Tuesday, February 21 2012 Feb 21, 2012 Tuesday, February 21, 2012 1:24:00 AM CST February 21, 2012 in News
By: Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri House perfected legislation Monday that would require driver's license tests to be administered only in English and would restrict interpreters for those who have trouble understanding the language.

The bill will not move to the Senate until it is officially passed. 

The House's 91-59 vote marks the second year in a row that the body has backed such legislation. Debate on this year's measure mirrored that of last year's proposal, which died in the Senate.
Rep. Mark Parkinson, R-St. Charles, who sponsored the measure, said he is trying to bring the license exam law "into line" with the state constitution.
Voters approved a 2008 amendment to the constitution to make English the official language of state proceedings, but not necessarily the state's official language.
"I think that a lot of people thought (English) should be the official language of everything the state does," Parkinson said Monday.


He said immigrants would have to know English to pass a citizenship exam and that they should have to learn the language as part of their transition to American life.
"We're known as the melting pot, and my definition of `melting pot' is people who come together and assimilate into our culture," Parkinson said. "One thing that binds us all together is English."
In addition to English, Missouri currently administers driver's license exams in Bosnian, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese. Those versions would be eliminated under the House bill, which needs one more vote to advance to the Senate.
The legislation forbids any spoken language interpreters to translate the exam for people who don't speak English. It does, however, allow sign language interpreters for people who are deaf.
A fiscal estimate included with the legislation projects that the state would save about $52,000 in the coming fiscal year by eliminating printed versions of tests in 11 languages and computerized versions in seven of the languages.


But critics said the benefits of those savings might be canceled out by the negative impact the measure could have on the state's economic development.
Democrats said the legislation could discriminate against new legal immigrants who have not yet mastered English. They said the measure could make it harder for those immigrants to get jobs or vote. Republicans, who largely support Parkinson's bill, have said drawing businesses to the state is a key part of the state's economic recovery.
Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, D-St. Louis, said the legislation might discourage businesses from moving to the state if they bring foreign workers with them.


"We keep trying to fix problems that aren't there, and it's just to feed into hysteria about people who are not native-born U.S. residents who speak English as their first language," she said.
Some lawmakers said non-English speakers would still drive cars, even if they couldn't pass a test in English. Rep. Don Gosen, R-Chesterfield, said other licensed drivers wouldn't be able to recover damages from immigrant drivers without a license because they also wouldn't have insurance.


"I have concerns about whether this bill makes driving safer and that it might make it even more dangerous," he said. "Someone who does not speak English may be discouraged from even learning the laws and taking the test."


Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, said insurance companies would pass that cost on to all of the state's insured drivers.
"Everyone will bear the burden of this legislation," he said. "The result of this bill is a tax on Missouri citizens for xenophobia."

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Mid-Missouri could be gaining its second, fully-accredited Montessori school. Tonight Woodland Montessori will put forward its... More >>
39 minutes ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:53:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed they have arrested someone after a car chase early Thursday... More >>
43 minutes ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:49:02 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday evening, Columbia Police Officers were dispatched to the 2300 block of Carpenter Drive in reference to... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:20:46 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police Officers responded to the 1500 block of Vandiver Drive in reference to a reported home invasion... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:28:42 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
Update: Columbia Police Officers have made an arrest in regards to Wednesday morning's incident in the 1500 block of Fir... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:50:00 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The director of the Missouri Veterans Commission has resigned amid complaints about care at the St.... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
SALINE COUNTY - Former Columbia Police officer Rob Sanders will head back to the courtroom in May 2018 as he... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 10:03:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired outfielder Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. The deal is pending a physical. ... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 9:41:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Today the Federal Communications Commission will vote on a plan to repeal net neutrality and librarians worry this... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:44:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Continuous News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - The man who was found on Audrain Road 913 Tuesday next to a crashed car died of... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:32:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Missouri law enforcement is impeded by a number of issues in cases involving child sexual abuse. Alleged... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 8:20:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce hosted the ninth and final public hearing by the 21st Century Missouri Transportation... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality is fast approaching. The vote to remove regulations that... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 7:12:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Justice Reinvestment Task Force took a big step Wednesday when it comes to addressing mental health,... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:53:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - As Columbia Regional Airport plans to expand, it got a push from Mayor Brian Treece. Treece called... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:37:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri is among the worst states nationwide at preventing its young people from smoking and using tobacco, according... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri American Water is making changes to the aging Jefferson City Treatment Plant with the goal of... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 5:33:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Update: Police Chief Ken Burton talked a little bit about the Old Hawthorne homicide at the Citizens Police Review Board... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, December 13 2017 Dec 13, 2017 Wednesday, December 13, 2017 5:32:00 PM CST December 13, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
8am 31°
9am 32°
10am 34°
11am 34°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
9:00a
Megyn Kelly TODAY
10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
7:00a
Maury
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
Football Night in Indianapolis
7:20p
Thursday Night Football
7:00p
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld