Technicality fails official English
April 17, 2005

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin vetoed a bill Saturday that would have made English the state's official language - not because he didn't like the idea, but because the legislation had a technical flaw.

Manchin, who had co-sponsored unsuccessful English-only bills when he was a lawmaker, cited the state constitution, which limits each piece of legislation to one topic. The original bill, on increasing the size of local park and recreation boards, was amended during the final hours of the regular legislative session.
Efforts to make English the state's official language have been introduced annually since the late 1990s. Twenty-seven other states have adopted English as their official language.