Confederate monument protection bill filed in Senate
Image via Drew Dixon

STATUEHOIST
The House version was filed earlier this year, before Jacksonville removed its last Jim Crow era statue.

A Senate companion to a House bill designed to protect Confederate monuments was filed Thursday.

Sen. Jonathan Martin’s SB 1122 would impose penalties on local officials who removed those and other historical monuments after July 1, 2024, mirroring a House companion in key ways, including potential removal from office by the Governor and civil penalties and required restitution for monument restoration from the responsible lawmakers’ personal accounts.

The Senate bill also gives standing to any aggrieved party to sue if a monument was “removed, damaged, or destroyed on or after October 1, 2020,” as long as they used the edifice for “remembrance,” a loose term with a wide variety of meanings. 

Martin’s bill, a companion to a similar House bill from Rep. Dean Black, comes after the Republican legislator from Jacksonville watched his hometown remove a monument this week to the Women of the Southland from the city’s formerly-named Confederate Park, now Springfield Park.

HB 395 likewise proposes state “protection of historical monuments and memorials” and authorizes “all actions to protect and preserve all historical monuments and memorials from removal, damage, or destruction.”

There are some minor differences between the bills. The Senate version contemplates a $1,000 penalty for culpable officials in addition to restoration costs, while the House version envisions a $5,000 fine.

Black’s bill seems to have been the impetus for the decision of the Jacksonville Mayor to authorize the removal of the Jim Crow era monument this week. The city’s General Counsel tailored his argument around questioning whether the structure was even “historical” or a “contributing structure” to the Springfield historical district, a position based in local ordinance not making that designation clear.

The memo also notes regarding Black’s bill, that Gov. Ron DeSantis “cannot implement an unconstitutional statute retroactively to penalize the Mayor from exercising her exclusive executive powers over parks under the consolidated City’s unique Charter.”

DeSantis himself has said he’s not “familiar” with the bill.

“Since this legislation is still subject to the legislative process (and therefore different iterations), the Governor will decide on the merits of the bill in final form if and when it passes and is delivered to the Governor’s office,” asserted Press Secretary Jeremy Redfern, who used language he’s used previously when asked about bills that haven’t yet passed.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


12 comments

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Expert on Everything" American

    December 28, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    Good afternoon Florida “Dook 4 Brains Lefty’s”,
    This “Sage Legislation” is a little sweet kiss for all you “Dook 4 Brains Leftys” to gently remind you, one and all, that you are not “The E_ _ IN Talaban” and the Destruction of “History” is not condoned here in The Great Free State of Florida”.
    So basically to put it into a mote “Gentile Verbage” you can all better understand in your “Dook Addled Brains” y’all can just E_ _ Off.
    Thank you Florida,
    This Sage Wisdom was brought to you by,
    Earl Pitts Anerican
    “WAKE UP ANERICA”

  • Ocean Joe

    December 28, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    Celebrating folks who took up arms against the federal government is an obscenity.

    • Michael K

      December 29, 2023 at 11:10 am

      And more to the point, these same people want to gloss over the fact that the Civil War was all about preserving chattel slavery in the South. When they lost the war, they used these “monuments” to “revise” history and to enforce Jim Crow laws against Black people.

  • NBDee

    December 28, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    Never Back Down from your racist beliefs.

  • Julia

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  • MH/Duuuval

    December 28, 2023 at 9:22 pm

    The MAGA element should be called “retroactivists” rather than reactionaries.

  • Seber Newsome III

    December 28, 2023 at 10:13 pm

    if liberal donna, does not put the statues back, along with the hemming monument, the city will not receive any more from the state for culture and arts, thus , costing the city millions of dollars. lets see how popular she is then,, she suppose to be all about culture and arts

    • Michael K

      December 29, 2023 at 12:12 pm

      Sounds vindictive and illegal to me.

  • the Truth and nothing but

    December 28, 2023 at 10:55 pm

    But, the bill will not give any money to the city for Arts and Culture, which could cost the city millions of dollars, until the statues are returned.

    • Michael K

      December 29, 2023 at 9:00 am

      I fail to see any connection here – except to throw more red meat at the racist wing of the MAGA party.

      • MH/Duuuval

        December 29, 2023 at 11:44 am

        These are the dead-enders of the Lost Cause, the original Neo-Con(federate)s

        If they had any clout, they would be out there raising $$$ to get a lawyer and move their idol to private property.

  • Jerry

    December 29, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    The only relevant confederate symbol is the white flag…

Comments are closed.


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