A bipartisan group of state lawmakers wants to give SLAPP lawsuit victims a chance to slap back. SLAPP stands for Strategic Litiation Against Public Participation. In other words, a lawsuit filed against someone for speaking out in a public forum. The suits are generally filed to keep someone from exercising free speech rights. Representative Richard Byrd of Kirkwood says people should be free to speak on public issues without fear of harassing lawsuits. He says citizens know best what what the impact will be of a particular proposal. The new proposal strengthens last year’s anti-SLAPP law by letting the lawsuit targets demand double the costs of their lawyer fees when the suit is thrown out.