COLUMBUS – Tomorrow, November 10, House Bill 109, a draconian anti-free speech bill, is up for a possible vote in the House Criminal Justice Committee – without further testimony, which the committee is not allowing. This legislation creates three new felonies and one new misdemeanor, and enhances four current offenses for actions that are already illegal. House Bill 109 was introduced in February and has only had three hearings.
The following statement can be attributed to Gary Daniels, Chief Lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio:
"House Bill 109 is by far the worst free speech-related bill I have ever seen in the Ohio General Assembly after 23 years working on civil liberties issues with the ACLU of Ohio. This legislation includes extreme penalties – among them the seizing of assets and shutting down organizations – who engage in constitutionally protected speech, and also allows police officers to sue individuals who make "false complaints" against them, but the bill provides no detail as to the type of "complaint" or who decides what is "false." At its core, HB 109 equates people who engage in civil disobedience - at almost all levels – with domestic terrorists. This bill is terrible for our democracy, terrible for Ohioans, and is meant to intimidate individuals who exercise their First Amendment Rights. We strongly urge the members of the House Criminal Justice Committee to vote no on House Bill 109."