Rep. Elise Stefanik co-sponsors legislation ensuring free speech on college campus

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Newly-elected House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., smiles as she speaks with reporters, accompanied by House Minority Whip Steve Scalise of La., on Capitol Hill Friday, May 14, 2021, in Washington. Republicans voted Friday morning for Stefanik to be the new chair for the House Republican Conference, replacing Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who was ousted from the GOP leadership for criticizing former President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

SARATOGA, N.Y. (WWTI) — A lawmaker representing the North Country announced her support for legislation aiming to ensure free speech on college campuses.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik announced on Monday that she is an original cosponsor of the Campus Free Speech and Restoration Act.

According to Stefanik, this bill would ensure that colleges and universities would avoid policies that would “infringe upon the constitutional right of students to speak freely on campus.”

“Conservative students across our nation continue to have their voices silenced at many institutions that claim to teach diversity of thought and opinion,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “This bill ensures that free speech is encouraged and allowed – and that students who have diversity in thought are able to express themselves, as they are entitled to through their First Amendment rights.”

Specifically, as stated in text from Congress, the bill would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965. In doing so it generally would prohibit public institutions that participate in federal student-aid programs form restricting noncommercial expressive activities.

Congress stated that this would include peaceful assemblies, distributing literatures or carrying signs.

For private colleges and universities, the bill would require them to be transparent about their chosen speech policies.

The Campus Free Speech and Restoration Act was first introduced in the 116th Congress in August 2020.

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