Colorado campus free speech bill scores full House support

The Colorado Statesman: Colorado’s campus free speech bill on Tuesday won a unanimous 64-0 vote on the state House floor.

It was another triumph of bipartisan support for a bill that was early linked in the minds of lawmakers to contentious conservative cable-news narratives but that broke increasingly free with each committee and floor debate to be embraced as productive and important public policy, turning skeptics into supporters all along the way.

“It was a lot of work, but good work,” said Rep. Jeff Bridges, a Democrat from Greenwood Village, after the House vote. “I told people on the campaign trail that I would be looking for common ground at the Capitol and, I can say, we all met in the middle on this bill. It was a huge team effort by colleagues on both sides. Lots of credit all around on this one.”

The 65th member of the House, Republican Rep. Lang Sias from Arvada, was excused.

Bridges worked on the bill with two of the most conservative lawmakers in the building: Sen. Tim Neville, a Republican from Littleton, and Rep. Stephen Humphrey, a Republican from Severance.

Neville introduced Senate Bill 62 in response to the battle around expression on campuses across the country waged largely by conservative media figures who think campus speech has been stunted by political correctness and censored by administrative restrictions.

The argument is that, in encouraging communication that lifts up members of university communities, universities have also limited speech that offends or degrades, whether intentionally or not.

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