MT Legislator Working on New ‘Free Speech’ Bill For Universities
Professor Mike Adams is gone, but his contested speech at the University of Montana may lead to changes in state law. Missoula-area representative Mike Hopkins (HD 92) says he’s working on legislation that could change the way state universities treat guest speakers.
"It's about the idea that a college campus should be treating speakers, regardless of their political affiliation or philosophy similarly," Hopkins said. "It is just trying to relate that here to Montana where we've had several problems with individuals whose philosophies tend to differ from the popular philosophy of a given campus and were having trouble coming to a campus to speak with students."
The bill is based on one that originated in Mike Adams’ home state of North Carolina HB 527, and which Adams helped promote. You can watch advocates for the bill like North Carolina's Governor discuss it in the video below. In Montana, the bill would direct the Montana Board of Regents to create a new committee.
"It's a committee to monitor college campuses and how they treat situations with different campus speakers with different philosophies," Hopkins said. "For instance, if a liberal speaker came to a university that isn't exactly the biggest fan of liberal speakers and that liberal speaker was treated differently than a conservative speaker, then people would have a mode of redress."
The legislation is still in its infancy in Montana at this point as there won’t be another legislative session here until early 2019.