SCS/SB 93 - This act creates the "Campus Free Expression Act" to protect free expression on the campuses of public institutions of higher education.
This act designates the outdoor areas of campuses of public institutions of higher education to be traditional public forums. Public institutions of higher education may maintain and enforce reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions in service of a significant institutional interest only when such restrictions employ clear, published, content and viewpoint-neutral criteria, and provide for ample alternative means of expression.
Any person may freely engage in noncommercial expressive activity so long as the person's conduct is not unlawful and does not materially and substantially disrupt the institution's functioning. Examples of protected expressive activities are described in the act.
This act may be enforced in a court of competent jurisdiction by the attorney general or any person whose expressive rights were violated under this act. A person may recover compensatory damages, reasonable court costs, and attorney fees. If a court finds a violation of this act, it must award no less than five hundred dollars for the initial violation, plus fifty dollars for each day the violation continues. A suit for violation of this section must be brought within one year of the day the cause of action accrues, as described in the act.
This act is similar to HB 408 (2015) and HB 436 (2015).