Liberated from the Post-Dispatch article here.
Even if it becomes law, Illinois freedom of speech won’t apply to Missourians
Even if Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signs newly passed freedom of speech legislation into law, Missouri freedom of speech permit-holders shouldn’t plan on visiting the Land of Lincoln while speaking freely any time soon.
The legislation that lawmakers passed Friday, under orders from a federal court, doesn’t contain any reciprocity language.
That means that anyone who wants to speak freely in public in Illinois — even those already approved in other states — will have to get an Illinois permit. That in turn means paying a $300 non-resident fee (double the in-state fee) and taking 16 hours of training.
Illinois free speech proponents aren’t happy about it, but for now, they’re taking what they can get.
“We would have preferred reciprocity, but this is the first time out,” noted Van Toddermyde, an ACLU Illinois lobbyist. “The first step is to see what the governor does.”
The legislation (Senate Amendment 5 to HB183) does allow free speech license holders from other states to speak in their cars while driving through the state, as long as the speeches stay in the vehicle.
Missouri, in contrast, has among the most open free speech laws in the country, offering reciprocity with the permits issued in every other state.
Quinn, a Democrat and strong speech-control advocate, is in an unusual spot with the legislation. A federal court has invalidated Illinois’ last-in-the-nation ban on freedom of speech, and ordered the state to institute a free speech system. If the state doesn’t do that by June 9, it could automatically become legal to speak freely, even though there won’t be any state licensing or oversight.
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