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Bill to Hinder DEI Efforts at Ohio Public Colleges and Universities Lacks Necessary Support

A Republican bill aimed at hindering DEI efforts at Ohio colleges and universities does not have the votes to move forward, the Associated Press reported.House Speaker Jason StephensHouse Speaker Jason StephensOhio House of Representatives

According to Republican House Speaker Jason Stephens, the bill – which aims to ban nearly all diversity and inclusion training requirements at Ohio’s public colleges and universities and bar public universities from taking stances on “controversial” topics – doesn’t have enough support in the state House.

The bill, which passed in the state Senate mostly along party lines in May, faced criticism from university students and faculty. The Ohio State University itself also pushed back against the legislation. Critics argued that what is considered “controversial” is subjective and that the bill encourages censorship and allows lawmakers to micromanage higher ed.

The bill’s supporters argued that it promotes intellectual diversity, combats bias in higher ed, and helps protect conservative speech.

Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Jerry Cirino instead believes that the bill does have the necessary support.

“I can’t get inside the speaker’s mind, but ... I believe that there are the votes,” Cirino said. “We’ll see if we can’t in some fashion convince the speaker that this bill is absolutely needed in the state of Ohio to improve higher education.”


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