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AB-2290 Postsecondary education: Free Speech on Campus Act.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 03/09/2020 09:00 PM
AB2290:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 09, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2290


Introduced by Assembly Member Kiley

February 14, 2020


An act to add Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 99350) to Part 65 of Division 14 of Title 3 of the Education Code, relating to postsecondary education.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2290, as amended, Kiley. Postsecondary education: Free Speech on Campus Act.
Existing law establishes the University of California, established under the California Constitution as a public trust under the administration of the Regents of the University of California, the California State University, under the administration of the Trustees of the California State University, the California Community Colleges, under the administration of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, independent institutions of higher education, and private postsecondary educational institutions as the segments of postsecondary education in this state.
This bill would require a campus of the California Community Colleges or the California State University, and would request a campus of the University of California, to make and disseminate a free speech statement that affirms the importance of, and the campus’ commitment to promoting, freedom of expression. The bill would provide that, for its purposes, posting the statement online on the campus internet website would be considered sufficient to meet the requirement to disseminate the statement. Because the bill would impose new duties on campuses of the California Community Colleges, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
(b) The First Amendment prohibits, with narrowly defined exceptions, governmental entities such as state universities from restricting free speech.
(c) In 2017, the Legislature passed Assembly Concurrent Resolution 21 without any opposition, and therefore affirmed its commitment to maintaining freedom of speech on college campuses.

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 99350) is added to Part 65 of Division 14 of Title 3 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  8. Free Speech on Campus Act

99350.
 This chapter shall be known, and may be cited, as the Free Speech on Campus Act.

99351.
 A campus of the California Community Colleges or the California State University shall, and a campus of the University of California is requested to, make and disseminate a free speech statement that affirms the importance of, and the campus’ commitment to promoting, freedom of expression. The statement shall include assurances that students and controversial speakers will be protected from exclusionary behavior that violates freedom of expression. the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. For purposes of this section, posting the statement online on the campus internet website shall be considered sufficient to meet the requirement to disseminate the statement.

SEC. 3.

 If the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.