Bill cracking down on protesting outside people's homes gains momentum in legislature

Published: Friday, January 20, 2023 - 3:54pm

The state Senate Judiciary Committee has passed a bill that would crack down on protesting outside people’s homes.

The bill proposed by Republican John Kavanagh would make it a misdemeanor to demonstrate outside a person’s home if the resident feels threatened, annoyed or harassed.

Kavanagh said the standard is what a reasonable person would interpret as intimidating behavior.

"If somebody is picketing in front of somebody’s house just carrying signs, no one is going to say that’s harassing or annoying, that’s just picketing. Now if people are shouting threats or obscenities, then that becomes harassing and annoying," Kavanagh said. 

Opponents are concerned the bill could limit free speech and don’t support limiting activity on public sidewalks. The bill now moves to the Senate Rules Committee. 

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