Missouri English Official Language, Constitutional Amendment 1 (2008)
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 became one of about 30 states with a similar law.
Amendment 1 was approved. See 2008 ballot measure election results.
|Missouri Constitutional Amendment 1 (English as Official Language)|
Official results via: Missouri Secretary of State - Elections Division
Official ballot title
The amendment's ballot title said, "Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to add a statement that English shall be the language of all governmental meetings at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy is formulated whether conducted in person or by communication equipment including conference calls, video conferences, or Internet chat or message board?"
- State Representative Brian Nieves, R-Union
- * Missouri Family Network
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-University City
- Bishop Robert Finn of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph
- National Immigration Project
- Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA).
- The Kansas City Star
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.
- Missouri 2008 ballot measures
- 2008 ballot measures
- Alaska English as Official Language, Measure 6 (1998)
- 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 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
- 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
- The Kansas City Star: "A message in plain English," Oct 20, 2008