GOP in Albany proposes legislation to fight antisemitism at colleges

Photo from State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt’s Office: Rob Ortt speaks during a news conference today in Albany, when Senate and Assembly Republicans unveiled a “Hate Has Consequences” legislative package.

Posted 15 May 2024 at 9:11 pm

Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

ALBANY – The State Senate and Assembly Republican Conferences today announced the introduction of several pieces of legislation aimed to curb the dramatic increase of antisemitism on college campuses throughout New York State.

At the “Hate Has Consequences” press conference held at the New York State Capitol, legislators outlined new bills to help combat the rise in antisemitism in New York State schools, including proposals that would:

  • prohibit state funding for any degree-granting institution of higher education if they permit certain pro-terrorist groups on campus, and any group or organization on such campuses that engage in or promote terrorist activities (S.9193, Senator Rhoads);
  • establish new crimes of deceptive wearing of a mask, and aggravated assault while wearing a mask, a class B misdemeanor and class A misdemeanor, respectively (S.9194, Senator Rhoads); and
  • prohibit state funding for any college where a member of such college’s instructional staff directly or indirectly promotes, encourages, advocates or engages in any activity on campus in support of a terrorist organization (to be introduced, Senator Canzoneri-Fitzpatrick).

“Amidst a dramatic rise in antisemitism, and the increase of hateful speech and rhetoric on college campuses here in New York and throughout the nation, it is imperative that the Legislature act to protect Jewish New Yorkers. This is the single most pressing issue we are faced with, and I’m disappointed in the lack of action by New York Democrats. I commend my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly Republican conferences for their work and continuing to bring attention to the need for the Legislature to act,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

The bills introduced are the latest in a series of legislative proposals first unveiled in a report by the Senate Republican Working Group on Antisemitism and members of the Senate Republican Conference to address the dramatic increase in antisemitic incidents in the wake of the horrific Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7.