Contact: Speaker Robin Vos, (608) 266-3387

Madison…Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) unveiled new legislation to protect free speech at UW System schools.  The bill fulfills the Assembly Republican promise to protect the First Amendment on college campuses, encouraging the debate of ideas and promoting diversity of thought.

“Free speech means free speech for everyone and not just for the person who speaks the loudest,” said Speaker Vos. “Students have the right to hear all sides of an issue, including the side they don’t agree with, in order to make an educated decision.”

The Free Speech on Campus Act directs the Board of Regents to implement a policy encouraging the freedom of expression throughout the university system. In addition, the bill will ensure a person’s rights are protected by creating disciplinary measures for those who strive to disturb and impede free speech. A new board consisting of university representatives as well as legislators would review the cases annually.

“All across the nation and here at home, we’ve seen protestors trying to silence different viewpoints,” said Speaker Vos.  “We need more speech, not less; it’s time to put in appropriate measures to ensure all speech is protected at our universities.”

Representative Jesse Kremer (R- Kewaskum), Representative Dave Murphy (R- Greenville) and Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R- River Falls) are the legislative leads on the bill.

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