“The goal is not to punish, but to protect free speech,” Ligon said during the meeting.
Georgia State University president Mark Becker called the bill “unneeded,” saying universities nationwide have improved their campus speech policies in recent years. The University System of Georgia, which includes Georgia State, updated its policy last year to ensure each campus provides high-traffic, accessible areas for speakers. Ligon said the USG policy doesn’t offer enough specifics about penalties.
University of Georgia president Jere Morehead said Ligon’s bill would create “unintended consequences” such as increasing security fees when a controversial speaker comes on campus.
The committee did not take a vote on whether to forward the bill to the entire Senate. Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, the committee’s chairman, asked Ligon and the USG to meet to work on an agreement.
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