IN HB1370 | 2021 | Regular Session

Status

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 3-0)
Status: Introduced on January 14 2021 - 25% progression
Action: 2021-01-14 - First reading: referred to Committee on Education
Pending: House Education Committee
Text: Latest bill text (Introduced) [PDF]

Summary

Free speech on college campuses. Provides that each postsecondary educational institution that receives funding from the state may not: (1) exclude a student from participating in or receiving benefits from; or (2) subject a student to discrimination or an official sanction under; an educational program, activity, or division of the postsecondary educational institution on the basis of participating in a protected association. Describes the manner in which state and private postsecondary educational institutions must submit statements of compliance with freedom of speech and association rights to the commission for higher education (commission). Requires the commission to review and publish on the commission's Internet web site in a searchable data base the statements submitted and a list of state educational institutions and private postsecondary educational institutions that failed to submit a statement. Allows a person to engage in noncommercial expressive activity on a campus of a state educational institution when certain conditions are met. Defines expressive activity as: (1) all forms of peaceful assembly; (2) protests; (3) speeches; (4) distribution of literature; (5) carrying signs; (6) circulating petitions; and (7) the recording and publication, including Internet publication of video and audio lawfully recorded; in a public outdoor area of a state educational institution. Prohibits a person from materially disrupting a previously scheduled or reserved activity on campus. Defines a material and substantial disruption. Permits the attorney general or a person whose expressive rights were allegedly violated to bring a civil action in court. Awards $500 for the first violation and $50 for each day the plaintiff's rights remain violated when a violation of this chapter is found. Allows the court to award compensatory damages, reasonable court costs, and attorney's fees when a violation of this chapter is found. Prohibits total damages stemming from a single controversy to exceed $100,000. Requires that a civil action for a violation must begin not later than one year after the date the alleged violation occurs. Prescribes the circumstance under which the statute of limitations is tolled. Provides that a college or university student who: (1) is accused of; or (2) accuses another student of; a violation of the college's or university's disciplinary or conduct rules has a right to representation, at the student's expense, in a disciplinary proceeding conducted by the college or university regarding the violation, if the violation carries a potential penalty of suspension for 10 or more days or expulsion. Provides that a college or university student organization that is accused of a violation of the college's or university's disciplinary or conduct rules has a right to representation, at the student organization's expense, in a disciplinary proceeding conducted by the college or university regarding the violation. Prescribes procedural requirements for college or university disciplinary proceedings. Creates a cause of action for a student or student organization whose right to representation is violated. Provides that a state university that accepts federal funds may not: (1) subject a student of the state university to a disciplinary sanction solely on the basis of the student's expressive activity or other communication that, when engaged in outside of the campus of the state university, is protected from governmental restriction by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States; (2) retaliate against an employee of a state university who acts to protect a student engaged in expressive activity or communication or refuses to infringe upon expressive activity or communication; or (3) subject state university campus media to prior restraint or prepublication approval, subject to certain exceptions. Provides a cause of action for a student or employee alleging a violation of these restrictions, and provides that the court: (1) may award the student or employee compensatory damages, reasonable court costs, attorney's fees, expert witness fees, any other relief in equity or law the court finds appropriate; and (2) shall award the student or employee not less than $1,000; if the court finds the state university has violated these restrictions.

Tracking Information

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Title

Free speech on college campuses.

Sponsors


History

DateChamberAction
2021-01-14HouseFirst reading: referred to Committee on Education
2021-01-14HouseCoauthored by Representatives Lindauer and Payne
2021-01-14HouseAuthored by Representative Jordan

Indiana State Sources


Bill Comments 750

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