LANSING —Today, House Bill 4053 — which would make English the official language of Michigan — was passed in the House. In response, state Rep. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor), issued the following statement:

“If we are going to designate English as our official language, then we should actually speak English. The American language that we all use is not the same thing.  Our language has been influenced by the many cultures of people who have, over the centuries, made Michigan their home. Today’s grammar, spelling and even pronunciation is a far cry from the English used by our friends across the pond.

“This bill will do nothing more than cause thousands of Michiganders to be designated to a lower class because English — the American version — is not their first language. We have no time to waste on frivolous legislation, when we should be focused on making sure our kids are safe, on the roads and in their schools and communities.  This is not the time to further divide ourselves into groups of us and them.This is the time to put being Michiganders before such divisive politics.”