Missouri English Official Language, Amendment 1 (2008)
The Missouri English Official Language Amendment, also known as Amendment 1, was on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Missouri as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.
The amendment, first passed by the Missouri State Legislature as House Joint Resolution 7, established English as the official language for all government meetings where public business is discussed or decided or where public policy is formulated.
|Missouri Amendment 1 (2008)|
Election results via: Missouri Secretary of State - Elections Division
Text of measure
The language appeared on the ballot as:
|“||Section A. Article I, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 34, to read as follows:
Section 34. That English shall be the language of all official proceedings in this state. Official proceedings shall be limited to any meeting of a public governmental body at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy formulated, whether such meeting is conducted in person or by means of communication equipment, including, but not limited to, conference call, video conference, Internet chat, or Internet message board. The term "official proceeding" shall not include an informal gathering of members of a public governmental body for ministerial or social purposes, but the term shall include a public vote of all or a majority of the members of a public governmental body, by electronic communication or any other means, conducted in lieu of holding an official proceeding with the members of the public governmental body gathered at one location in order to conduct public business.
Arguments in Support
Notable arguments made in support of the measure included:
- The amendment addresses the concern that we are becoming a country with too large a language barrier.
- State Representative Maria Chappelle-Nadal, (D-16)
- Bishop Robert Finn of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph
- National Immigration Project
- Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA).
Arguments in opposition
Notable arguments made in opposition included:
- English is already the de facto language of meetings of governmental bodies throughout Missouri and there is no need to make this practice a constitutional requirement.
- It could make immigrants who are trying to integrate into Missouri feel isolated.
- It prevents local officials from making common sense exceptions when emergencies or other special occasions arise.
Media editorial positions
- The Kansas City Star said "The Star recommends a 'no' vote on Amendment 1 requiring English to be the language of governmental meetings."
- Missouri 2008 ballot measures
- 2008 ballot measures
- List of Missouri ballot measures
- History of Initiative & Referendum in Missouri
- Full text of the amendment
- 2008 Voter Guide: Initiative Petitions & Ballot Questions
- Election Results from the Missouri Secretary of State - Elections Division
- Stateline, "Social issues crowd state ballots," July 24, 2008
- McClatchy Washington Bureau, "English-only issue gets Missouri talking," September 29, 2008
- Kansas City Star, "English-only movement will win easily in Missouri," October 28, 2008
- Missouri House of Representatives website, accessed March 20, 2014]
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Missouri Family Network: "November 4, 2008 General Election; Five (5) Statewide Ballot Questions," Oct 13, 2008
- Daily Journal Online: "Amendment would require English," Oct 4, 2008 (dead link)
- The Catholic Key, "Bishop Finn urges 'No' on Missouri Amendment 1"
- Fox News, "Amendment On Ballot Would Make English Missouri’s Official Language," October 28, 2008
- October 20, 2008 Kansas City Star, "A Message in Plain English," accessed March 21, 2014
State of Missouri
Jefferson City (capital)
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Commissioner of Education | Director of Insurance | Director of Agriculture | Director of Natural Resources | Director of Labor & Industrial Relations | Chairman of Public Service Commission |