Updated: Feb 6, 2021

Courtesy Democratic Women's Club of Florida

SB 264 (Rodrigues) Higher Education will be heard Thursday Feb. 9 at 2 pm in the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. This bill is rooted in the current Conservative worldview that their voices are being "cancelled" by liberals. The bill, which has already passed its first Senate committee, would do the following:

  • Call for an annual "intellectual freedom and viewpoint" survey at every Florida college and state university to see that a range of political philosophies has representation in the faculty;

  • Prohibit universities from "shielding" students from certain points of view;

  • Prohibit universities from denying controversial speakers and groups the right to speak on campuses;

  • Allow students to record lectures in the classroom and publish them on the internet as an expression of free speech, subject to privacy protections provided by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

There is concern that under this bill, politicized science and evidence-based lectures like climate change and medical issues (e.g., vaccines) would require the need to present Conservative "alternative facts" that are based in opinion and conspiracy theories. Furthermore, the bill offers no funding for the bill nor any guidance on what to do with the results.

The Staff Analysis is attached to this email for your reference.

Please contact the following Senators on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education to voice your OPPOSITION to this bill. Their names and contact information are listed below:

Chair: Senator Doug Broxson (R) 487-5001Vice Chair: Senator Manny Diaz, Jr. (R) 487-5036Senator Janet Cruz (D) 487-5018Senator Audrey Gibson (D) 487-5006Senator Joe Gruters (R) 487-5023Senator Travis Hutson (R) 487-5007Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R) 487-5028Senator Tina Scott Polsky (D) 487-5029Senator Tom A. Wright (R) 487-5014

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