COLUMBUS—On Tuesday the Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 40, sponsored by Senators Andrew Brenner (R-Powell) and Rob McColley (R-Napoleon), which is aimed at protecting the free speech rights of students, faculty members and guests in public campus areas.
"This legislation will help protect the first amendment rights of our students," said McColley. "The bill seeks to ensure universities and colleges remain a place for open, honest, and sometimes difficult dialogue, which plays an important role in helping young people define their views."
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 be sent to the House for further consideration.