The Los Angeles Times reports that legislators have started to act on bills introduced in response to a series of confrontations, including a melee at UC Berkeley over a proposed campus speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.
Lawmakers and activists have fought over a wide range of proposals, many introduced by Republicans who say conservative speech is being vetoed by violence on California campuses.
California’s Democratic majority has scuttled bills including one that would have disciplined students who interfere with speeches, or withheld funds from campuses that don’t take steps to protect controversial speaking events.
Another sidelined bill would have made it a crime to wear masks or disguises to demonstrations, but opponents said it could be used to quash free speech. Other measures, including legislation modeled on a Los Angeles antiviolence ordinance, are expected to be taken up in the next few weeks.
But stronger bipartisan consensus has emerged around a bill that would require state colleges to affirm in formal statements the importance of freedom of expression, and to set the stage for student instruction on the history and value of the First Amendment.
In all, nine bills were introduced in response to incidents including the February 2017 riot at UC Berkeley in which 150 protesters, many masked agitators, caused some $100,000 in damage and injured several people there to attend Yiannopoulos’ speech, which was canceled.
So basically, any significant movement to protect minority viewpoints on California college campuses has been stopped.