Senate committee advances campus free speech bill
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A Senate committee has advanced legislation requiring public universities to develop free speech policies.
The Senate Education Policy Committee voted 7-2 Wednesday to advance the legislation which would limit university officials’ ability to cancel campus speakers.
Gordon Stone of the Higher Education Partnership says he supports the bill but hopes it’s amended to move back the implementation date from January 2020 to June 2020. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Matt Friday, says that is dependent on the legislative schedule which is expected to wind down in the next few days.
The bill sparked a tense debate before passing the House of Representatives last week.
Democratic Rep. Juandalynn Givan argued it offered protections to ‘alt-right,’ neo-Nazi or racist campus speakers.
The legislation now heads to the full Senate for approval.