Campus 'free speech' bill falls short in Louisiana House
BATON ROUGE - A proposal calling on Louisiana's public colleges to punish students who disrupt free speech on campus narrowly failed to win House support.
Republican Rep. Lance Harris says his bill is aimed at protecting free expression on college campuses. He says the measure comes in response to university decisions to scrap appearances from controversial, often conservative speakers.
Colleges would have to establish disciplinary sanctions for students who interfere with "the free expression of others." And campuses could be sued if someone feels First Amendment rights have been restricted.
Opponents questioned if the bill was needed and if its provisions were too far-reaching.
The House voted 46-34 Thursday for the bill. It needed 53 votes to pass. Harris could bring the proposal back for another vote.