The Missouri General Assembly is considering a handful of bills that would prevent state agencies - including, apparently, the health, transportation, and education departments - from having to take basic steps to make public documents and signage easier to understand for some of the state’s residents.
Missouri law already acknowledges English as “the common language” in the state and recognizes “that fluency in English is necessary for full integration into our common American culture for reading readiness.”
The new law would go much further, though, stretching “common” into only - and, in at least one of the bills, enshrine this regressive provision in the state constitution.
Here in the City of St. Louis, English is our common tongue and the language of our government. However, most City departments proudly - and correctly - conduct our official business in the many languages of our diverse population. Whatever the General Assembly decides, that should continue.