Possible Special Session, No More Spanish

The state may be facing a special session and a new law repeals putting Spanish on driver’s license tests.

Governor Henry says a special session of the Legislature may be necessary to cope with declining state tax revenues.

Henry said he favors tapping the "rainy day" fund, which has about $600 million in it.

Lawmakers and Henry also have about $600 million in remaining stimulus funds to plug budget holes.

"Hopefully, we can make it to the regular session, but we may not," Henry said. "But we are going to have to come together with a plan that is going to have to include, I believe, tapping the rainy day fund. It is raining out there."

Also, a new state law that took effect Sunday will prevent the waste of taxpayer dollars on Spanish-language drivers’ tests, the bill’s author said.

“In a year of budget cuts, it makes no sense to spend extra money on Spanish-language drivers’ tests that serve no legitimate public policy purpose,” said state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore.

“Providing this special accommodation to non-English speakers indirectly encourages illegal immigration and prevents assimilation of legal immigrants.”

House Bill 2252, by Terrill and state Senator Anthony Sykes, repealed the requirement for the Department of Public Safety to provide driver’s license tests in Spanish.

Drivers who cannot read or speak English pose a public safety risk, Terrill said, citing experts.

About the author: For 30 years, Mike McCarville has covered Oklahoma politics and government with The McCarville Report Online, located here.