By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Tuesday, April 5, the Alabama Legislature meets and one issue that the legislature could move on is the Alabama Monument and Heritage Act of 2016, SB13. The Monument Bill is sponsored by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa).
Alabama Sons of Confederate Veterans Alabama Division Adjutant Mike Williams said in a statement, “My fellow southerners: This week the Legislature comes back into session for about a month. Don’t let the month (time) fool you that is merely 8 meeting days. Now they have 13 days they can meet according to the constitution. The Monument and Heritage Bill of 2016 is sitting on the main calendar having passed everything but the house. Yes it passed all committees and the entire senate. It will not move forward unless it gets out on the “daily calendar” which in a lot of cases is decided by the House Rules Committee. Pray that SB13 is passed. I am providing the members of the Rules committee for your use if need be.
Impeachment will be brought up tomorrow I have been told but other bills may be heard too. Gambling is still debated as well as there is expectations that the Governor will veto the Budget meaning there may be an attempt to override his veto. So you see, the protection bill can easily get lost in the shuffle and will have to wait until next year if not passed. Who knows what the climate will be next year?”
Williams said, “This is not an SCV Bill but an Alabama bill. You give up history, you give up your future! We need your help too! And last but not least as I mentioned…….Pray.”
On March 16, the Alabama Monument and Heritage Act of 2016, was approved by the Alabama House State Government Committee in a 7 to 4 vote.
Alabama Division Adjutant of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans Mike Williams said that the bill, SB13,
Democrats on the committee: Representatives John Rogers, Barbara Boyd, Ralph Howard, and Dario Melton all opposed the bill in the committee. Some argue that local governments should be allowed to govern their communities without interference from the State.
SB13 is being carried in the Alabama House of Representatives by State Representative Paul Beckman (R-Prattville). Beckman sponsored the House version of the bill, HB3.
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.”
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.
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. The Confederate Heritage group, Save Our South filed a lawsuit to protect the Linn Park monument.
Senator Allen introduced SB13 in response to the wave of monument removals. If the bill passes the Alabama House of Representatives it will go to the Governor.