Legislative Briefs : Senators ban university free speech zones

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State senators voted 21-8 Monday to block universities and community colleges from limiting protests, distributing handbills and making speeches to only certain areas of the campus.

HB 2615 stems from concerns about branches of the Maricopa Community College system which have policies setting up so-called “free speech zones.’’ There also are some requirements for prior approval.

There is at least one lawsuit pending on the issue against Paradise Valley Community College by two students who charge it is illegally requiring groups to get permits and provide prior notice. The college policy also restricts those who want to demonstrate or hand out literature to certain areas of campus.

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