Protesters who blocked roads before a March rally for Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump rally have inspired state lawmakers to add an amendment to a measure protecting students' rights to free speech on college campuses.
Republican Sen. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills backed the amendment that would increase penalties for blocking traffic from a Class 3 to a Class 1 misdemeanor if the person is intentionally blocking access to a political campaign event or a government meeting or hearing.
The amendment on House Bill 2548 passed on a 14-9 vote Thursday. The House then advanced the proposal.
Kavanagh called the behavior "corrosive to democracy." Opponents say lawmakers should not criminalize the act of civil disobedience.
Three protesters were arrested in connection with the backup leading to Trump's event.