The Dustin Inman Society – Insider Advantage Georgia: Senate Gives New Lease On Life To English-Only Driver Testing Bill
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Senate Gives New Lease On Life To English-Only Driver Testing Bill
3/30/10) The English-only driver’s testing bill got a new lease on life in the Senate on Tuesday after languishing since last year in legislative limbo. This comes after what an anti-illegal immigration activist group says has otherwise been a disappointing session on immigration matters.
The measure originated in the Senate last year and picked up what senators called a problematic amendment on its journey through the House. It did not get final passage during 2009, but remained alive for 2010.
On Tuesday, Sen. Jack Murphy passed the bill again through the Senate, this time minus the House amendment, and it now goes back to the lower chamber. The Senate vote was 39-11.
The bill – SB67 – requires the driver’s exam to be given only in English to individuals who intend to be permanent residents of Georgia. There is an exemption for seasonal agricultural workers who may take the exam in any of the 13 languages in which it currently is given.
Democratic Sen. Nan Orrock argued that the bill sends the wrong message to the international community “that we’re pulling up the welcome mat.”
Murphy countered it’s a matter of public safety. Those who drive the state’s roads, he said. should be able to read directional and warning signs.
According to the Dustin Inman Society, which advocates against illegal immigration and monitors a broad array of legislative initiatives touching on the topic, efforts to strengthen immigration-related laws have not fared well this session.
Among the proposals it reported as being dead following last Friday’s crossover day:
* HB1259, which would have required use of the federal E-Verify program to insure that newly hired employees are not illegal aliens.
* HB1164, which would have provided punishment for local governments that fail to comply with existing law on the employment of illegal labor.
* SB460, also designed to provide sanctions against local governments and their contractors who ignore existing laws on illegal labor.
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