University Free Speech Amendment Clears House Committee

Last week, Michigan House Oversight Committee voted out a constitutional amendment that would give the Legislature the power to overrule university and community college regulations on “protection of free speech, expression and assembly rights.”

House Joint Resolution P was sent to the full House on a 4-2 vote, with two Democrats opposing the resolution. State Representative Jim Runestad (R-44), who sponsored the resolution, proposed a substitute that would have also allowed the Legislature to step in if there is public health and safety issues on campus, but withdrew it soon afterwards. The joint resolution needs two-thirds of the House vote, or 73 representatives, to pass the chamber. HJR P would also need a two-thirds vote in the Senate to get on the November 2018 ballot.