A House committee has dramatically altered the bill that would have declared English the state’s official language. The House Local Government Committee changed the bill so it now simply says that Legislators recognize “English is the common language used in Iowa” and that “fluency in English is necessary for full integration into the American culture.” Representative Dwayne Alons, a republican from Hull, had wanted to name English Iowa’s official language, but he accepted the compromise with democrats. He says it’s similar to language passed in Missouri in 1998.Alons says the move’s important because America’s no longer a melting pot, but — in his words — a stir fry.Representative Ed Fallon, a democrat from Des Moines, refused to support the compromise. Fallon says it’s a lot better than what had been proposed, but he’s still concerned that it hurts a lot of people.Senator Steve King, a republican from Kiron, was the “official English” bill’s main backer when it passed the Senate, and he’s not happy with the change his House colleagues made. King says it now has now substance and he doesn’t know how to react.King says the bill as it now stands does not ensure that state government business will be conducted in English.
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