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SB15 (BR308) - A. Robinson, M. Wilson, R. Alvarado, J. Bowen, J. Carpenter, D. Carroll, J. Carroll, C. Embry Jr., D. Givens, J. Higdon, S. Humphries, D. Seum, D. Thayer, S. West, W. Westerfield, M. Wise

     AN ACT relating to the expression of religious or political viewpoints in public schools and public postsecondary institutions.
     Amend KRS 158.183 to permit students to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in school assignments free from discrimination; require local boards of education to ensure that the selection of student speakers is made in a viewpoint-neutral manner, the student's prepared remarks are not altered before delivery without student's consent, religious and political organizations are allowed equal access to public forums on the same basis as nonreligious and nonpolitical organizations, no recognized religious or political student organization is discriminated against in the ordering of its internal affairs; allow students to display religious messages on items of clothing, access public school facilities during noninstructional time as a religious student organization, use school media to announce student religious meetings, and meet as a religious student group during noninstructional time and before and after school to the same extent as students undertaking such actions in a nonreligious manner, permit public schools to sponsor artistic or theatrical programs that advance students' knowledge of society's cultural and religious heritage; create a new section of KRS Chapter 158 to allow a teacher to teach about religion with the use of the Bible or other scripture without providing religious instruction, and to teach about religious holidays in a secular manner; amend KRS 158.186 to require annual notification to local school boards, school-based decision making councils, and certified employees of statutes pertaining to religious freedom and expression in schools; create a new section of KRS Chapter 164 to require public postsecondary education institution governing boards to ensure that students are permitted to voluntarily express religious or political viewpoints in assignments free from discrimination, the selection of student speakers is made in a viewpoint-neutral manner, the student's prepared remarks are not altered before delivery without student's consent, religious and political organizations are allowed equal access to public forums on the same basis as nonreligious and nonpolitical organizations, no recognized religious or political student organization is discriminated against in the ordering of its internal affairs, and there are no restrictions on speech that occurs outdoors on campus and is protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, except for restrictions that are reasonable, justified without reference to speech content, narrowly tailored to serve governmental interest, and limited to provide alternative options for the communication of the information.


SB15 - AMENDMENTS

     SCS1 - Retain original provisions; amend KRS 158.183 to clarify that if the religious or political content of a student's speech may be perceived as having school endorsement, the school shall communicate that the speech does not reflect the position of the school; clarify in new section of KRS Chapter 164 that if the religious or political content of a student's speech may be perceived as having institutional endorsement, the institution shall communicate that the speech does not reflect the position of the institution.

     Jan 06, 2016 - introduced in Senate
     Jan 12, 2016 - to Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection (S)
     Jan 28, 2016 - reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar with Committee Substitute (1)
     Jan 29, 2016 - 2nd reading, to Rules
     Feb 03, 2016 - posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Thursday, February 4
     Feb 04, 2016 - 3rd reading, passed 31-2 with Committee Substitute (1)
     Feb 05, 2016 - received in House
     Feb 08, 2016 - to Education (H)