Your phone calls and emails into the state Senate must be working, because yesterday, theSenate Committee on General Laws voted6 to 2to pass the bill out of committeeand send it directly to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote!
The committee did, however, adopt abill-weakening amendmentthat would allow non-English speakers to use interpreters while taking the English driver’s exams. This flawed amendment was offered bySen. 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 onlyonelanguage is used—English. Does this mean thatthe 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 167will 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 theofficial English law of Missouri (2008). Missouri currently allows the test to be taken in 12 different languages.