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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Three Oregon Lawmakers File Initiative To Make English Official State Language

M.O. Stevens
Wikimedia -

Three Republican state lawmakers filed an initiative petition this week to make English the official language of the state of Oregon.

It’s not clear that this initiative would actually lead to many state agencies to abandon providing services in languages other than English. It would have more of a symbolic effect. That’s because federal law requires any state agency that receives federal money to serve people who aren’t fluent in English.

A similar initiative failed to make the ballot in 2008. Two of the lawmakers involved in this year’s effort sponsored a bill in the legislature in 2007, but it died without a hearing.

The measure filed this week would need more than 88,000 signatures to make next year's ballot.