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House panel OKs English-only government document requirement

Maricopa Republican Smith runs stealth campaign for House speaker

Maricopa Republican Rep. Steve Smith (photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

An Arizona bill to prohibit state agencies from mailing out some government documents in any language but English has cleared an initial hurdle.

Republican Rep. Steve Smith of Maricopa says his bill is intended to save money and also reinforce a 2006 voter-approved law that makes English the state’s official language.

The Arizona Republic says the bill has an exception for voting material but that the proposed law would apply to driver’s license manuals, applications for social services and some school information.

Critics say it could violate the federal Civil Rights Act.

The House Government Committee endorsed the bill Tuesday. It next faces consideration by the Rules Committee and reviews by party caucuses before being considered by the full House.

Passage would send it to the Senate.

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  1. When will Republican Steven Smith realize that he is not aligned with the diverse population shift in Arizona and in the District he represents. We are so weary of spending time on this legislation, since it has been passed before in 2006. Move on and seek legislation for jobs, safety, business and building communities that work together for the common good. Is this the major issue in his District? I do not think so.

  2. Everyone has the right to learn English. It is their choice if they choose not to, but if they make that choice they should not complain about the choice they have made.

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