Tuesday, Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt took time during his 2008 State of the State Speech to express support for the upcoming ballot initiative to strengthen Missouri’s official English law. On Nov. 4, 2008, Missouri voters will have the opportunity to vote on whether English must be used at almost every meeting of a public governmental body at which any public business is discussed or decided.

In his speech, Gov. Blunt said the following, “As in generations past, Missourians welcome legal immigrants and want to help them assimilate into our society. That is why I renew my endorsement of English as the official language. I support this because I wish to include all in the full promise of the American life. English is the language of opportunity. As legal residents learn it, they open new doors, leading to greater freedom and prosperity.”

Both Gov. Blunt and his expected challenger, Attorney General Jay Dixon, have indicated support for the ballot initative. A Nov. 2007 poll by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found that 67 percent of Missouri voters favor the measure, with just 21 percent.

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U.S. English, Inc. is the nation's oldest and largest non-partisan citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States. Founded in 1983 by the late Sen. S.I. Hayakawa of California, U.S. English, Inc. ( www.usenglish.org ) now has more than 2 million members.