Senate and House Approve Brenner, McColley Bill Protecting Freedom of Speech on College Campuses
COLUMBUS—State Senators Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) announced that the Senate gave final approval today to Senate Bill 40, which aims to protect the free speech rights of students, faculty members and guests in public campus areas.
The Senate today voted to concur on changes the Ohio House of Representatives made to the original bill expanding the "Forever Buckeye" program, which would grant in-state tuition to individuals who receive a certificate of high school equivalence in Ohio.
"I'd like to thank my colleagues in the House for voting to uphold the First Amendment and keep free speech on college and university campuses secure," Brenner said. "By giving students the tools to not only freely share their own opinions, but also hear opinions that challenge their own, it will only broaden their perspectives and give them the confidence to express themselves."
The bill, also known as the FORUM Act, prohibits state universities in Ohio from taking any action or enforcing any policy that restricts the free expression rights of students, faculty, or invited guests on their campuses.
The legislation also prohibits state universities from establishing special zones or sections of their campuses where free speech is restricted and requires each institution to adopt a public policy outlining its regulations and expectations of students pertaining to free expression.
Senate Bill 40 will now go to the Governor for his consideration.