Legislation in brief

Washington statelegislator, student collaborate on student press bill

WASHINGTON — The legislative process has begun for a billdrafted by a Washington state legislator that would ensure free pressprotections for both high school and college journalists in one statute.The proposed bill ensures that ”no school officials nor thegoverning board of the school or school district” will interfere withstudents’ free speech and free press rights, and that student media willnot be subject to mandatory prior review.Brian Schraum, a former studentat Green River Community College who is now a student at Washington StateUniversity, said he contacted state Rep. Dave Upthegrove (D-SeaTac) to talkabout proposing a state-wide anti-censorship law in light of the Seventh U.S.Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Hosty v.Carter.Schraum, the former editor in chief of The Current,Green River Community College’s student newspaper, said he wanted toprotect the newspaper after the Hosty decision.If the bill ismade law, Washington will become the seventh state with laws supporting a freestudent press. The proposed bill is unique from other states’ lawsbecause it would protect speech at both the high school and college levels underone statute.The earliest date that the bill can be filed is Dec. 18,2006 and state Rep. Upthegrove will request a hearing for the bill when thelegislative session re-opens on Jan. 8, 2007, according to a spokesperson fromhis office.