Sen. Kapenga, Rep. Horlacher: Legislators introduce campus free speech bill

Contact: Sen. Chris Kapenga   608-266-9174
Rep. Cody Horlacher 608-266-5715

Madison, WI – On Tuesday, Senator Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Representative Cody Horlacher (R-Mukwonago) introduced a bill that would ensure free speech on UW campuses.

“Free speech is a foundational part of our constitution. Unfortunately, across the country and here in Wisconsin, we have seen examples of free speech being suppressed on our university campuses. Freedom of speech leads to freedom of thought, but all too often universities are teaching students what to think instead of how to think. This bill affirms the ability to engage in the free exchange of ideas without the fear of intimidation or disruption,” said Senator Kapenga.

This bill directs the UW Board of Regents to implement a policy on free expression which states it is not the role of an institution to shield individuals from speech protected by the First Amendment and that students and faculty have the freedom to discuss anything as permitted by the First Amendment. It also states that any person lawfully on campus may protest or demonstrate, but actions that interfere with the expressive rights of others are subject to sanction.

“I am honored to lead the charge for Campus Free Speech. We must ensure that open expression is available to all students and that certain ideas are not stifled on our university campuses. It is vital that we codify these protections in our state statutes,” said Representative Horlacher.

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