SB17-062 - Student Free Speech Public Higher Education Campuses

Passed/Signed into Law
Concerning the right to free speech on campuses of public institutions of higher education.

The bill prohibits public institutions of higher education (public institution) from limiting or restricting student expression in a student forum. 'Expression' is defined to mean any lawful verbal or written means by which individuals communicate ideas to one another, including all forms of peaceful assembly, protests, speaking verbally, holding signs, circulating petitions, and disstributing written materials. 'Expression' also includes voter registration activities but does not include speech that is primarily for a commercial purpose.

A public institution shall not subject a student to disciplinary action as a result of his or her expression. A public institution shall not designate any area on campus as a free speech zone or otherwise create policies that imply that its students' expressive activities are restricted to a particular area of campus. Additionally, a public institution shall not impose restrictions on the time, place, and manner of student speech unless such restrictions are reasonable, justified without reference to the speech's content, are narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and leave open ample alternative channels for communication of the information or message.

The bill states that it does not grant other members of the college or university community the right to disrupt previously scheduled or reserved activities in a portion or section of the student forum at that scheduled time. Additionally, the bill clarifies that it is not to be interpreted as preventing the public institution from prohibiting, limiting, or restricting expression that is not protected under the 1st Amendment.

A student who has been denied access to a student forum for expressive purposes may bring a court action to recover reasonable court costs and attorney fees.

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


Senate Committees

Latest update: April 4, 2017
04/04/2017 - Governor Signed
03/29/2017 - Sent to the Governor
03/28/2017 - Signed by the Speaker of the House
03/27/2017 - Signed by the President of the Senate
03/22/2017 - Senate Considered House Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass
03/21/2017 - House Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
03/17/2017 - House Third Reading Laid Over to 03/21/2017 - No Amendments
03/17/2017 - House Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor
03/16/2017 - House Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
03/13/2017 - House Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
03/08/2017 - House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Refer Amended to House Committee of the Whole
02/16/2017 - Introduced In House - Assigned to State, Veterans, & Military Affairs
02/13/2017 - Senate Third Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
02/10/2017 - Senate Second Reading Passed with Amendments - Floor
02/09/2017 - Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
02/08/2017 - Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
02/07/2017 - Senate Second Reading Laid Over Daily - No Amendments
02/02/2017 - Senate Committee on Education Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole
01/13/2017 - Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Education