Florida Senate committee seeks to prevent removal of Confederate statues

Senate panel approves bill that would prevent moving, destroying Confederate monuments 00:30

TALLAHASSEE — An effort to prevent removal of historical monuments and memorials started to advance Monday in the Senate as cities such as Jacksonville fight over Confederate statues.

The Republican-controlled Government Oversight and Accountability Committee voted 4-2 along party lines to support a bill (SB 1122), filed by Sen. Jonathan Martin, R-Fort Myers, that would prevent local governments from relocating, removing or destroying monuments. It also could lead to civil liability for anyone who takes or damages a monument or memorial on publicly owned land.

“This is not a Confederate bill . It’s an American history bill,” Martin said.

Martin said monuments and memorials are available for people who don’t have time or money to take history in college.

Sen. Tracie Davis, a Jacksonville Democrat who voted against the bill, said statues honoring the Confederacy aren’t about the Civil War, but about “hate” during Reconstruction and “to degrade Black people.”

Story continues