Peter Breen’s Illinois Campus Free Speech Act

by Stanley Kurtz

Illinois state representative Peter Breen (R., Lombard) has just introduced HB 2939, which would create the Illinois Campus Free Speech Act. Breen’s bill is based on the model campus free-speech legislation I recently co-authored along with Jim Manley and Jonathan Butcher of the Goldwater Institute.

Upon introducing the bill, Breen said:

With everything going on nationally right now, this is a timely bill that will serve as a reminder that the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech and expression. Our public institutions of higher learning have historically embraced a commitment to free speech, but in recent years we have seen colleges and universities abdicate their responsibility to uphold free-speech principles. This initiative will put Illinois in the forefront of ensuring robust, respectful speech on college campuses.

As recently noted, North Carolina lieutenant governor Dan Forest has announced that his state’s General Assembly will soon be considering a bill based on the Goldwater proposal, and I will be testifying before the Florida state house next week on the Goldwater model campus free-speech bill at the invitation of Education Committee chair Michael Bileca.

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He can be reached at [email protected]

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