Official-English measure gets House approval
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
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.