CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin vetoed a bill Saturday that would have made English the state’s official language.
Manchin, who had co-sponsored unsuccessful English-only bills when he was a lawmaker, cited the state constitution, which limits each piece of legislation to one topic. The original bill, on increasing the size of local park and recreation boards, was amended during the final hours of the regular legislative session.
Efforts to make English the state’s official language have been introduced annually since the late 1990s.
West Virginia has the highest percentage of English-only speakers in the nation, with only 2.7 percent of its residents speaking a language other than English at home, according to the 2000 Census.