This bill would allow the government to charge protesters with a Class B Felony. The charge could come if 1) someone attempts to prevent or prevents speech (imagine yelling loudly from across the street) and 2) there is an accompanying unlawful act (could be trespassing, littering, jaywalking, harassment, public nuisance etc.).
Unlawful acts are already unlawful. Adding additional penalties is totally unnecessary and would chill free speech. We are concerned about the broad language of this bill, increased penalties for minor infractions, and the possibility of selective enforcement.
A public hearing for this bill was scheduled for Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 1:30pm, but the hearing was cancelled. It is still in committee but since it has not been brought back up for a vote, it is likely dead for this session.
An amendment has been introduced to change the penalty from a Class B felony to a Class C misdemeanor.
Alabama House committee slows bill on public speakers (Montgomery Advertiser)