House speaker apologizes to Cherokee chiefFriday, April 4, 2008
Filed Under: Politics
Oklahoma House Speaker Chris Benge, a Republican, apologized to Cherokee Nation Chief Chad Smith for Smith's treatment at a hearing on a controversial English-only bill.
Smith was prevented from speaking about Senate Bill 163. When he tried to address the issue, he was threatened with ejection by the chairman of the House General Government and Transportation Committee.
"I did express to the chief that it was unfortunate he was not able to give his opinion," Benge, who is Cherokee, told The Tulsa World.
The bill makes English the official language of government business in Oklahoma. Rep. Randy Terrill, a Republican, says he included a provision to protect Native languages.
Get the Story:Speaker offers apology to chief
(The Tulsa World 4/4)Chief misses chance to speak
(The Oklahoman 4/4)
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