SENATE BILL No. 349

 

 

May 2, 2017, Introduced by Senators COLBECK, JONES, NOFS, PAVLOV, BRANDENBURG, GREEN, HANSEN, EMMONS, HUNE and SCHUITMAKER and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

 

 

     A bill to protect the right of free speech and assembly on the

 

campuses of public universities and community and junior colleges;

 

to provide for enforcement of that right; and to provide remedies.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the

 

"campus free speech act".

 

     Sec. 2. As used in this act:

 

     (a) "Expressive conduct" includes, but is not limited to, all

 

peaceful forms of assembly, protest, speech, distributing

 

literature, carrying signs, and circulating petitions.

 

     (b) "Public institution of higher education" means a public

 

community or junior college established under section 7 of article

 

VIII of the state constitution of 1963 or part 25 of the revised

 

school code, 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1601 to 380.1607, or a state

 


university described in section 4, 5, or 6 of article VIII of the

 

state constitution of 1963.

 

     Sec. 3. A public institution of higher education may restrict

 

expressive conduct in the public areas of its campuses only if it

 

demonstrates that the restriction meets all of the following:

 

     (a) Is necessary to achieve a compelling governmental

 

interest.

 

     (b) Is the least restrictive means of furthering that

 

compelling governmental interest.

 

     (c) Leaves open ample alternative opportunities to engage in

 

the expressive conduct.

 

     (d) Allows for spontaneous assembly and distribution of

 

literature.

 

     Sec. 4. An individual aggrieved by a violation of this act,

 

the attorney general, or both may bring an action in a court of

 

competent jurisdiction to obtain the following remedies:

 

     (a) In all cases, reasonable court costs and attorney fees.

 

     (b) In all cases, injunctive relief as appropriate.

 

     (c) In a case brought by or on behalf of an individual

 

aggrieved by a violation of this act, that individual's actual

 

damages or $1,000.00, whichever is greater.

 

     Sec. 5. An action brought under section 4 shall be commenced

 

not later than 1 year after the day that the cause of action

 

accrued. For purposes of calculating this 1-year limitation period,

 

a cause of action accrues each day that a violation of this act

 

persists or a policy in violation of this act remains in effect.