Campus 'free speech' bill struck down by Governor Edwards
BATON ROUGE - A proposal aimed at protecting controversial speakers' appearances at Louisiana colleges and calling on campuses to penalize students who disrupt them has been vetoed by the governor.
Gov. John Bel Edwards described the legislation - sponsored by House Republicans' leader Lance Harris - as a "solution in search of a problem." In a veto letter released Tuesday, the Democratic governor said the bill is overly burdensome to colleges.
Harris described his bill as a response to university decisions around the country to shut down appearances from speakers amid demonstrations and threats of violence. The measure called on colleges to establish sanctions for students who interfere with "free expression." Republicans in several states have proposed similar legislation.
Edwards has jettisoned seven bills passed by state lawmakers in the just-ended legislative sessions.