Montana’s Democrat Governor Steve Bullock recently vetoed a bill to protect free speech on campuses but the state’s higher ed commissioner is fighting for the initiative.

Campus Reform reports:

Montana gov vetoed free speech policy, but higher ed commissioner has something in the works

The Montana Board of Regents has opened a review into their colleges’ free speech policies after Democrat presidential candidate and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock vetoed legislation aimed at tightening protections on college students’ free speech rights.

“Nothing is more important in the Montana University System than free speech, academic freedom, and the free exchange of ideas,” Montana commissioner of higher education Clayton Christian told Campus Reform. “I reported to the board last month that I have asked our campuses to review their policies and procedures pertaining to free speech and to share information with our system office. That review is under way. We look forward to ensuring that free speech is protected and encouraged in the Montana University System.”

Sponsored by Republican state Rep. Mike Hopkins, House Bill 735 would have prohibited free speech zones on college campuses across the state and would require that public institutions of higher education have policies that protect free speech.

The bill was vetoed by the governor and subsequently failed a veto override poll by legislators.

Republican state Rep. David Bedey, a co-sponsor of the now-dead HB 735, was happy to hear that the commissioner is reviewing the issue further.

“I am encouraged by the prospect of a thorough review of free speech policies across the Montana University System and expect the Regents to take the matter seriously,” Bedey told Campus Reform. “Intellectual diversity is under attack at many colleges in America. Montanans must ensure that this erosion of our First Amendment rights does not occur in our state’s colleges.”


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