Campus Protection Officers – HB 575
HB 575, sponsored by Rep. Dean Dohrman, passed out of the Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday morning after being amended to take out the part of the bill that would eliminate health care fees for students with insurance, and language restricting requirements for living on campus. The bill will now be placed on the Senate calendar for floor debate.
The Senate took up the budget on the Senate Floor on Tuesday, passing HB 3, which included a $10 million line item for the TPMC for UM System, while keeping our core appropriations flat. Any changes made by the Senate to the Houses-proposed budget will be debated in conference in the next few weeks.
House Committee Resolution 35 was heard in House Higher Education Committee on Wednesday afternoon; sponsored by Rep. Ron Hicks, it would encourage UM System to conduct a study on binge drinking at SEC games. The HCR was filed to start a conversation regarding binge drinking on college campuses.
HB 576 – Campus Free Expression Act
House Bill 576, sponsored by Rep. Dean Dohrman, passed the House Floor this week. This legislation modifies the Campus Free Expression Act to require the governing board of each public institution of higher education to adopt a policy on free expression by Jan. 1, 2020. It also requires that institutions adopt a “student-on-student harassment” policy. Two amendments were added to the bill: the Cronkite New Voices Act, which protects freedom of speech for student journalists at public institutions of higher education; and an amendment that would require a public institution that requires a faculty sponsor for student organizations to appoint an administrator appropriately related to the student organization.