House GOP leader wants to shape college free speech policies

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A Louisiana House GOP leader says he’s so worried about university decisions to jettison appearances from controversial speakers that he wants to enact a new free speech law for his state’s campuses.

Rep. Lance Harris cited Berkeley’s canceling of conservative commentator Ann Coulter’s on-campus speech as one example why he’s proposed to enact a “policy on free expression” for Louisiana colleges.

The measure would require colleges to adopt a statement saying they strive for free expression, won’t shield students from unwelcome speech and allow protests. A committee would track whether any barriers to free speech surface.

The House Education Committee advanced the bill Tuesday without objection. But Democratic lawmakers say they want Harris to work with campus leaders on the proposal’s language before House debate.

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House Bill 269: http://www.legis.la.gov

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