English-only measure reworked for special election

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- With an English-only initiative barred from Nashville's November ballot, backers are now rewriting the proposal in preparation for a special election this winter.

The Tennessee Supreme Court on Wednesday declined a speedy hearing on an appeal by city council member Eric Crafton that could have put his proposal before voters in November.

If passed, the measure could have prevented the city from translating written materials into other languages or using interpreters to communicate with people who don't speak English.

Now Crafton is collecting signatures to hold a special election on the issue. But he told The Tennessean he is also changing the wording of the proposal to allow city officials and employees to use languages other than English if a person's health or safety is at risk.

Crafton said his attorneys believe the reworked proposal will withstand legal challenges.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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