MADISON, Wis. – The State Assembly voted to adopt the Campus Free Speech Act during a lengthy meeting tonight. The bill, authored by Representatives Murphy, Kremer, and Vos, requires the University of Wisconsin System.Board of Regents to put in place guidelines and procedures for the protection of free speech in public campus areas.
During the floor debate, Representative Dave Murphy (R-Greenville), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, expressed his support for the measure, stating:
“Defending free speech requires more of us than letting folks see who can shout the loudest. No freedom exists without responsibility. The freedom of speech is tied to the responsibility of letting others speak freely. Without the ability to be heard, without the ability to communicate, free speech is meaningless. Free speech includes the right to not be silenced: not by the state, not by the state university, not by a mob, and not by an individual.”
“The Board of Regents has shown great leadership by adopting policies to protect freedom of expression. This bill backs their statement with the power of the law. It sends an important message: that when a university administrator takes action to protect the free exercise of speech, they will have the law squarely in their corner. The passage of this bill ensures that Wisconsin’s citizens will never decline to speak up, for fear of being shouted down on a college campus.”
The bill will be messaged to the Senate for adoption before the Governor will have an opportunity to sign it into law.