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Lawmakers Debate Making English the State Language

January 19, 1998
By: Liz Cafer
State Capital Bureau

The debate over making English the official state language came before the Senate Finance Committee.

Liz Cafer has the story.

After failed attempts to make English the official state language, a new proposal would make it Missouri's common language. Some opponents prefer this wording, but Anthony Ramirez, an attorney who represents minorities in St. Louis, finds both distinctions unneccessary.

Actuality:
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Contents: [83K WAV file - Anthony Ramirez, St.Louis attorney] "It's not the only language, and why should it be declared, quote, the official language? To us, it's trying to ram something down our throats."

Ramirez says he encourages everyone to learn English, but says putting it on the lawbooks will only add to the bureaucracy. State lawmakers continue to debate the issue.

Reporting from Jefferson City, I'm Liz Cafer.