Missouri's House passed a bill that requires people to learn English in order to pass a driver's test.
Wrap: The bill will allow driver's license tests to be given only in English or American Sign Language.
Right now, the test is offered in 12 languages.
Rural Central Missouri Republican Representative Wanda Brown says drivers need to be able to read road signs in English before taking the wheel.
|Description: "We are not telling anyone that they can't come here and take a test to drive in this country. We are saying for the safety of the citizens of this country, for their own safety, they need to learn how to speak English."|
Brown says the bill will encourage new immigrants to adjust to American society.
Opponents say it could prevent legal immigrants from working if they can't drive.
From Jefferson City, I'm Helena Kooi.
Missouri's House voted Thursday to force people wanting driver's licenses to take their tests in English.
Wrap: Most Republicans voted for the bill, with Democrats against.
It cuts 11 language options for the exam...leaving only English.
Opponents say it would effectively bar thousands of legal Missouri residents who don't know English from getting a license.
But Republican House Majority Leader Tim Jones says driving is a privilege, not a right.
|Description: "I just think it's a safety issue, it's a public policy concern, and some of these accusations were on the floor and some of the criticism thrown about. I think it was a really disappointing display."|
That criticism Jones is talking about came from Democrats who said the bill discriminated against legal immigrants.
The bill now heads to the Senate.
From the state Capitol, I'm Helena Kooi.
Missouri's House passes legislation that requires driver's tests to be administered in English only.
Wrap: The vote came along party lines.
The Republican-sponsored bill prevents non-English speakers from taking a driver's test in their native language.
Democratic House Minority Leader Mike Talboy says that discriminates against legal immigrants.
|Description: "This is the very worst of what our society is becoming."|
Talboy wasn't alone.
Other Democrats say the bill would prevent thousands of legal immigrants from working if they can't drive to their jobs.
Supporters say it's a safety issue.
They say drivers should be able to read English road signs.
The bill now moves to the Senate.
Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Helena Kooi.