Committee wants to make English official language

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - English would become the official language in Texas and all official functions would have to be in English, under a law approved by the House State Affairs Committee.

The measure passed the committee late Thursday on 7-3 vote along party lines.

State Rep. Leo Berman authored the bill, which the Legislature has repeatedly debated in the past. The bill declares that the traditional and common language of the United States and Texas is English. It goes on to say that knowledge of the common language is essential to exercising constitutional rights.

Opponents argue that the law would hurt citizens who don't speak English and ignore Texas' Spanish-language history.

The bill will now be considered by the full House.