On Friday, the Alabama Legislature gave final approval to the Memorial Preservation Act.
This would "prohibit the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, or other disturbance of monuments located on public property which have been in place for 20 or more years," and require a waiver from a standing committee for monuments in place less than 20 years.
Exemptions would be in place for certain organizations like museums, archives, libraries, the State Department of Transportation, universities, utilities, and ports. However, most of these would still have to "...ensure that any monuments are preserved to the greatest extent possible."
There's a long list of definitions and requirements, both for what places and items are covered under the act and what steps must be taken to get a waiver. The penalty for non-compliance with preservation or waiver requirements is steep - a $25,000 fine.
Bill sponsor Senator Gerald Allen said that the bill was necessary because, "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?”
The bill now goes to Governor Kay Ivey.
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