By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, March 3, the Alabama Senate voted 22 to 9 in favor of Senate Bill 13, the Alabama Heritage Preservation Act – sometimes referred to as the “Monuments Bill.” SB13 is sponsored by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa).
Sons of Confederate Veterans Adjutant Mike Williams said in a statement, “I am very happy that the State of Alabama is moving with other states in an effort to preserve Southern Heritage. Senate Bill 13 moving out of the senate is a good first step and I applaud the senators who voted for passage. I believe we have overwhelming support in the House of Representatives and look forward to the debate in the lower chamber next week.”
SB13 will be carried in the Alabama House of Representatives by State Representative Paul Beckman (R-Prattville). Beckman sponsored the House version of the bill, HB3. HB3 is awaiting action by the House State Government Committee.
Sponsor, Senator Gerald Allen, said in a statement, “This legislation is about protecting all of Alabama’s history for every Alabamian, which includes the Civil War and the Civil Rights movement. There is a revisionist movement afoot to cover over many parts of American history. Our national and state history should be remembered as it happened. This politically-correct movement to strike whole periods of the past from our collective memory is divisive and unnecessary.”
Confederate Heritage supporters will celebrate Confederate Flag Day at Confederate Veterans Memorial Park near Luverne on Saturday, March 5, at 12:00 noon. The park is located at 6403 Brantley Highway, Luverne on the North bound side of Hwy 331 near the campground.
SB13 would create the Alabama Heritage Preservation Act of 2016. This bill would prohibit the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, or other disturbance of certain commemorative statues, monuments, memorials, or plaques which are located on public property. This bill would prohibit any person from preventing the governmental entity having responsibility for maintaining the objects from taking proper measures to protect, preserve, care for, repair, or restore the objects. The bill would also authorize the Alabama Legislative Council to grant waivers under certain circumstances and would provide for the levy of fines against governmental entities that act without approval of the Legislative Council. This bill would also exempt certain art and artifacts, the Department of Transportation, and local highway departments under certain limited circumstances.
The Association of County Commissions of Alabama and the Alabama NAACP both opposed the bill at the public hearing on February 9. Black lawmakers attempted to filibuster the bill in the Senate, but Senate Republicans invoked cloture early on Thursday morning.
Following the assassination of South Carolina State Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney and several members of his Church by a troubled young man who posed in pictures with a Confederate Flag there was a national movement to crack down on Confederate symbols. Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) ordered all the Confederate flags be taken down on the Capital grounds. The City of New Orleans is in the process of removing a number of historic monuments to the Confederacy. Birmingham is considering moving the Confederate Veterans Memorial out of Linn Park. Senator Allen introduced SB 13 in response to the politically correct wave of monument removals.