Nashville (AP) -- A Metro Nashville council proposal to make English the "official language" of Nashville government is one step closer to approval.
The council voted 21 to 10 Tuesday to pass the measure on its second reading, giving it the minimum number of votes needed for passage on the 40-member council. Nine members chose not to vote.
Members must vote on the measure again for it to be fully approved.
The measure originally proposed to require "English only" with city government. It was changed to "English first" after the city raised concerns that it could lose federal money by not allowing multicultural communications.
Some residents appeared at the council's meeting to voice their concerns that the measure would punish law-abiding residents and hurt tourism and business.
Supporters say it will encourage immigrants to learn English more quickly.
Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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