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Arizona senator inspired student-journalist bill in high school. 24 years later, she gets it passed

Posted by   /  May 13, 2017  /  No Comments

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By Mary Jo Pitzl | The Republic

Sometimes it takes a little time to get an idea through the Legislature and signed into law.

For Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, one effort has taken more than a quarter century.

When she was a staffer in the early 1990s on the Demon Dispatch, the Greenway High School student newspaper, Yee contributed to a story about drug dealing in the school parking lot and accompanied it with a caricature of the high-school principal. Both were spiked.

Her state senator at the time, Democrat Stan Furman, heard about the situation and introduced a bill to allow freedom of speech for high school and university journalists. It failed. He tried again, with the same result.

Fast forward to 2017, and Yee, now the Senate majority leader, introduced Senate Bill 1384, to try and finish the work Furman started two decades ago. It worked: The bill passed and is on Gov. Doug Ducey’s desk.

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