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Protect public expression in PA: Vote YES on HB 1466

Ask your state senator to defend free speech in PA and vote YES on HB 1466!

Free speech and healthy debate are the cornerstones of a thriving democracy. SLAPP suits (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) weaponize the legal system to penalize protest and silence free speech. They have become a common tool for intimidating and silencing criticism through expensive, baseless lawsuits. 

The real goal of a SLAPP suit is to entangle people in expensive litigation in order to silence and intimidate them from engaging in constitutionally protected activities. The threat of legal action as a means of preventing free speech has been used to silence whistleblowers, journalists, and political protesters.

Pennsylvanians deserve to speak freely without the threat of costly litigation standing in the way of their First Amendment rights.

HB 1466 passed the PA House unanimously. Now we need you to contact your PA senator and urge them to vote YES on HB 1466!

The problem: Pennsylvania's current anti-SLAPP law is too weak and too narrow—it only protects people speaking out against an environmental law or regulation. Our current law is outdated and in desperate need of reform.

The solution: HB 1466 is the result of a bipartisan, commonsense effort to update Pennsylvania law to protect people from being “SLAPPed”—or threatened with a potential lawsuit—as a tactic to prevent them from exercising their First Amendment rights. 

HB 1466 would create a clear process to challenge a SLAPP suit and quickly dismiss frivolous claims. The most important changes include:

  • Broad, expanded protection for all First Amendment expression, not just for those challenging environmental laws or regulations;
  • Mechanisms that ensure early and efficient resolution of SLAPPs to minimize litigation costs for targets of a SLAPP suit;
  • Mandatory awards for attorney fees, court costs, and expenses of litigation to anyone forced to defend against a meritless claim resulting from their exercise of protected expression. Mandatory awards will also help deter SLAPPs from being filed in the first place.

Visit our coalition website, Speak Free PA, to read more about SLAPP suits and how HB 1466 will help defend public expression in PA!

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