Berman presents bill to make English the state language

By Courtney Lane - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

He wants English to be declared the official language of Texas. State Representative Leo Berman is proposing a bill to make official state documents English-only and completely do away with publishing copies in Spanish.

Berman says it would save our state millions of dollars, but some feel it's pure discrimination. To him it's an un-needed expense.

"If we have to print all official documents in Spanish it costs millions of dollars each year that I would like to save," said Berman.

Some documents would be exempt from Berman's bill because they're mandated by the federal government to be printed in Spanish and English. That would include voting ballots. Also school documents used for bilingual education. But pretty much everything else, Berman would like to see in English-only.

Attorney Jose Sanchez doubts the bill will go very far.

"People are still going to talk in their native language, people are still going to do contracts in their native language, whether they're here or in their native country," said Sanchez. "So I don't feel that it's going to get passed, I'm sure it'll get attacked in the court system and again, more tax dollars going to legal fees that shouldn't have gone there in the first place."

Dolores Martinez, a translator for the Northeast Public Health District, says it's critical to educate Texans in written form in their native language.

"On my field right here just food itself is a big issue. Food born illnesses," said Martinez. "How are you going to prevent that if you can't tell them in Spanish."

Martinez says many East Texans are just not fluent yet in English, but representative Berman wants that changed.

"Basically one language binds the country together by culture, by citizenship and in many other ways. If people are going to live here permanently and they're not illegal, they should know english," said Berman.

If you would like to read Representative Berman's bill, we have set up a link on our Know More on 7 page. Just click on "English the State Language".