Senate Panel Moves To Protect Confederate Monuments in Florida

Image via Shutterstock/SunflowerMomma

By Giselle Balido

April 6, 2023

As a result of the Republican sponsored legislation, local governments across the state could be sued if they remove the controversial memorials.

Even as Gov. Ron DeSantis and GOP legislators pass legislation banning the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools’ curriculum and continue to push the so-called “Stop WOKE” Act, which restricts certain race-based conversations in colleges, a second Senate Committee approved the “Historical Monuments and Memorials Protection Act,” a bill that could end local efforts to move Confederate monuments and other markers of war in Florida.

Approved on a 6-2 party-line vote, Senate Bill 1096 was sponsored by Sen. Jonathan Martin, a Lee County Republican, to keep in place any “plaque, statue, marker, flag, banner, cenotaph, religious symbol, painting, seal, tombstone, structure name, or display constructed and located with the intent of being permanently displayed or perpetually maintained,” that honor military or public service past or present, with no exceptions. 

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As a result of SB1096, local governments could be sued “if they moved it outside of the exceptions of this bill.” The proposed legislation does allow for moving monuments “for construction, expansion, or alteration of publicly owned buildings, roads, streets, highways, or other transportation projects.” 

Committee Vice Chair Rosalind Osgood, a Democrat from Broward County, believes this bill is the start “of erasing our history.”

“People who look like me really are offended by the Confederate monuments we see because we don’t see the Confederate monuments of the people of color who also fought in the Civil War,” Osgood said.

For her part, House Minority leader Fentrice Driskell believes the Republican governor is trying to erase, or “whitewash,” the Black American experience.

“We really need leadership in the state who cares and not just about some of us but about all of us,” Driskell told Floricua. 

The House companion bill (HB 1607) is now moving through Committees, with two stops ahead before the House floor.

https://theamericanonews.com/floricua/newsletter/

Author

  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

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