Campus ‘free speech’ bill wins backing of Louisiana House

The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE — A proposal seeking to protect controversial speakers’ appearances at Louisiana colleges and calling on campuses to punish students who disrupt them won support from House lawmakers on a second try.

Rep. Lance Harris, chairman of the House Republican Delegation, says his bill is a response to university decisions to scrap events like Berkeley’s canceling of conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s speech.

Harris’ proposal would require colleges to establish sanctions for students who interfere with “the free expression of others.” Campuses could be sued if someone feels First Amendment rights were restricted.

Republicans in several states have proposed similar legislation.

Opponents question whether the bill is too far-reaching.

The measure, which previously fell seven votes short, was sent to the Senate with a 66-26 House vote Wednesday.


House Bill 269

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