A state Senate committee has blocked legislation that would require the state driver's exam to be given in English only.

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee voted 5-4 Thursday to carry over the legislation. The committee voted by the same margin to carry over a companion bill that would have required government agencies to use "English only" in documents unless a federal or state law required more than English.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale, said the decision effectively kills the bills because little time remains in the legislative session.

Beason says the bills would unify Alabamians around one language, but Democratic Sen. Vivian Davis Figures of Mobile compared them to former Gov. George Wallace's stand in the schoolhouse door in 1963.

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