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SB 0318 - Education; public forums at public institutions of higher education; provide

Tracking Level: Monitor
Sponsor: William Ligon (R)
Last Action: 6/25/2020 - House - House Postponed
Senate Committee: Judiciary
House Committee: Higher Education
Assigned To:
CivilNext Bill

Staff Analysis of the Legislation

SB 318 amends Title 20 of the OCGA to designate unrestricted outdoor areas of public higher education institutions as public forums on campus and restrict such institutions from creating free speech zones. The bill allows any person who wishes to engage in lawful, nondisruptive, and noncommercial expressive activity in these public forums to do so. A public higher education school may enforce restrictions on place, time, or manner only when such restrictions employ clear, published, and neutral criteria. These rules do not prevent a public higher education institution from prohibiting harassment.

These institutions are prohibited from denying a student organization official recognition on the basis of the organization’s religious, political, or ideological beliefs. These institutions must also publicize handbooks regarding the institution’s policies on free expressive activity on campus and make these policies consistent with this amendment.

Any person or student organization aggrieved by public higher education institution violating of this Code section must bring an action against the institution no later than one year after the day the action accrued. Should the court find the institution in violation of this Code section, the court shall issue an award of at least $5,000.00.


Bill Summary from the State Site - Click for the State Summary Page / Click for Current Full Text