Alabama House lawmakers could take up Confederate memorial bills

The Confederate monument in Birmingham's Linn Park has been fully removed.
The Confederate monument in Birmingham's Linn Park has been fully removed.(City of Birmingham)
Updated: Feb. 15, 2021 at 6:43 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - House lawmakers could debate bills regarding Confederate monuments when they return to Montgomery next week.

The Memorial Preservation Act of 2017 stops institutions from moving or altering monuments that are 40 or more years old. A city or county would be fined $25,000 if they moved it. The City of Birmingham paid the fine after removing the Confederate monument out of Linn Park.

Democratic Rep. Juandalynn Givan proposed a bill to make it easier for local governments and institutions to move them without paying the fine.

“They want that ability to either give those monuments away, or erect them somewhere else, maybe at a cemetery, remove them, take them to another part,” Givan said.

Givan’s bill stalled in a House committee last week and was sent to a subcommittee.

Republican Rep. Mike Holmes sponsored a separate bill that would strengthen the Memorial Preservation Act. It would increase the fine to $10,000 a day if local governments and institutions removed certain monuments.

“Today’s ‘cancel culture’ is dedicated toward erasing any mention of the history or historical figures that they find offensive, painful, or in conflict with their personal political beliefs,” Holmes said in a statement. “The only way we can determine where we are going as a state or nation is to remember where we have been, and preserving our history is fundamental to that process.”

Republican Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon says he expects lawmakers will take up these two bills.

“I think both of those bills are being worked on and have a good possibility of being amended and worked on,” McCutcheon said. “So what you’re seeing right now would not be a final product that I think the house would vote on.”

Alabama is home to more than 100 confederate monuments.

Lawmakers return Feb. 23.

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