Bill banning ‘free speech zones’ at Colorado public colleges signed by governor

Denver7: Colorado’s public colleges will no longer have designated “free speech zones” after Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill Tuesday that extends First Amendment rights to everywhere on campus.

The bipartisan Senate Bill 62 passed through both legislative houses with near-unanimous support.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, says the passage of the bill means Colorado puts “the highest premium on strengthening our constitutionally-guaranteed rights.”

Set to take effect Aug. 9, the bill prohibits the state’s public colleges from restricting First Amendment rights to any certain part of campus. So-called “free speech zones” have drawn fire nationwide in recent years, as some say they restrict the number of varying viewpoints available to students on college campuses.

“I think more free speech is really the best indicator of everybody being heard and everybody actually being able to focus on the issues that are important to them,” Neville told Denver7 late last month.

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