As reported here last week, House Bill 1307 -- the Student Free Press Bill -- was scheduled to come up for a vote before the state House of Representatives last Friday. However, a series of proposed amendments from opponents of the bill have significantly slowed the process as the March 14 deadline for passing bills out of the house looms.
The three amendments have been proposed by the Republican representatives in the 5th Legislative District, which covers Issaquah, North Bend and Snoqualmie. The most recent are a pair proposed by Rep. Glenn Anderson, one of which would force the state to reimburse districts for legal fees incurred as a result of defending itself after the passage of the legislation. The other would stipulate that students receive no more free speech rights than those extended to legislators in legislative-sponsored media.
Both seem designed to stall against a vote, and neither appear likely at this point to be adopted into the bill.
These amendments come on the heels of Rep. Jay Rodne (Anderson’s counterpart in the 5th District) twice attempting to introduce an amendment that would specifically strike high school students from the bill. The Judiciary Committee rejected his first overture; the second is still up for debate before vote.
As seen here, high school students need this protection the most.
We’ll keep you posted here as information on the vote becomes available.