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Legislature passes confederate monuments preservation bill

By Brandon Moseley

Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, May 19, 2017, the Alabama House of Representatives voted to accept changes to the Memorials Preservation Act. Senate Bill 60 was sponsored by Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa).

Sen. Allen said in a statement, “The Alabama Legislature gave final approval to the Memorial Preservation Act, which will protect historic monuments and memorials from thoughtless destruction.”

Sen. Allen continued, “Unfortunately, in cities like New Orleans we are seeing a wave of political correctness wipe out monuments to historically significant, if often flawed, people. Where does it end? Are all parts of American history subject to purging, until every Ivy League professor is satisfied and the American story has been re-written as nothing but a complete fraud and a betrayal of our founding values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”

Allen said, This proposal establishes a standing committee to hear waiver requests from cities and counties, while historic artifacts under the control of museums, archives, libraries, and universities are specifically exempt from the prohibition against removal or alteration.

Let’s stop this absurd destruction of monuments that offend the tender sensibilities of any person, anywhere, and preserve our history – the good and the bad – for our children and grandchildren to learn from.”

State Representative Mack Butler (R-Rainbow City) carried the bill in the Alabama House. Rep. Butler said, “The Alabama Legislature has passed the Monument Protection Bill and it has been sent to Gov. Ivey.”

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Sen. Allen said that the removal of the Confederate historical monuments by the current administration of the City of New Orleans demonstrates the need for the legislation. Allen said, “The removal of the Robert E. Lee statue has been a part of the New Orleans landscape and history since 1884. Our Alabama memorial bill (SB60) is vital to protect all of Alabama’s rich history. As Condoleezza Rice stated in a recent article in the Washington Examiner, the former Secretary of State, criticized efforts to tear down southern monuments to Confederate leaders because she does not believe in sanitizing history. I encourage you to call your House member and encourage them to pass SB60.”

Governor Kay Ivey sent the bill back to the legislature with an amendment. The Senate approved the amendment on Thursday. The Alabama House approved the measure 68 to 29.

The Memorials or Monuments Act had been a Legislative priority for the Republican supermajority in both Houses of the Alabama Legislature.

Some Democrats are asking for Gov. Ivey to veto the bill.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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