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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Should MO allow non-English speakers to use interpreters while taking the English driver’s exams?

Here's an alert from Pro-English:

Driver's license bill advances in MO Senate!
MO: Keep up the pressure until the full Senate votes and passes HB 167!
Take Action!
April 20, 2011
Your phone calls and emails into the state Senate must be working, because yesterday, the Senate Committee on General Laws voted 6 to 2 to pass the bill out of committee and send it directly to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote!
The committee did, however, adopt a bill-weakening amendment that would allow non-English speakers to use interpreters while taking the English driver’s exams.  This flawed amendment was offered by Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, and it was unfortunately agreed to by the committee. 
The House author of the bill, Rep. Jerry Nolte, R-Gladstone, was right to include a ban on interpreters in the original version of his bill.  The whole idea behind eliminating foreign language driver’s exams is that English proficiency should be a minimum requirement for motorists seeking to drive on U.S. roads where only one language is used—English.  Does this mean that the foreign language applicants who rely on interpreters to pass the test will promise to keep an interpreter with them at all times in their cars to translate the meaning of the road signs while they drive?  Of course not!  This amendment is a dangerous one and it jeopardizes public safety.  It should be corrected prior to final passage.

ProEnglish supports restoring the interpreter ban on the Senate floor before the final vote.  Please urge your state Senator to push to restore the prohibition on the use of interpreters during driver's exams!

HB 167 will simply require driver’s license written and skills/road test exams to be administered in no languages other than English.   Administering taxpayer-funded state driver’s license exams in foreign languages violates the official English law of Missouri (2008).  Missouri currently allows the test to be taken in 12 different languages.
Be sure to check out this video from KOMU News TV in Missouri summarizing the opposition arguments made during yesterday’s committee hearing. 
ProEnglish video
Stay tuned to ProEnglish email because we’ll have a detailed rebuttal to these opposition claims coming your way tomorrow!
Continue calling, emailing and writing to your state Senator to urge them to:
1.  Restore the ban on the use of interpreters,
 and then
2.  Vote YES on HB 167 on the Senate floor!

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