Official-English measure gets House approval
Tucson Citizen
March 24, 2006

The Arizona House approved a proposed ballot measure that would make English the state's official language and require government functions be conducted in English.

A similar proposal made it through the Republican-led Legislature last year, but was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano. She said she believed non-English speakers should be encouraged to learn the language, but the vetoed bill did nothing toward that end.

The House's 34-22 vote yesterday sent the resolution to the Senate. If approved by the full Legislature, this year's proposal would bypass the governor and be decided by voters in December.

A similar voter-approved law making English the state's official language was overturned in 1998. The law, approved in 1988, was declared unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, which ruled the change violated free-speech rights.