House panel advances bill to honor 100 Florida women with historical markers
Image via Florida House.

Fabian Basabe Florida House
‘For far too long, many great women who have contributed to our state have gone unrecognized.’

There are around 1,200 historical markers in Florida recognizing noteworthy places, people and events across the state. Just 20 are dedicated to women.

That’s far too few and it’s time that number increases, according to a bill now advancing in the Legislature.

The House Constitutional Rights, Rule of Law and Government Operations Subcommittee voted unanimously for HB 629. The bill would launch the “Florida Women’s Historical Marker Initiative” to begin adding new, women-devoted markers by the end of next year.

“For far too long, many great women who have contributed to our state have gone unrecognized,” said Rep. Fabián Basabe, the measure’s sponsor. “I feel it’s a symbolic time to create a bill to identify women statewide who have been instrumental and impactful to our state.”

Basabe’s bill and a similar Senate proposal (SB 716) by fellow Miami-Dade County Republican Ana Maria Rodriguez call for the creation of a 10-seat selection committee to choose which women to honor.

Members would include three Governor’s appointees, a Florida Commission on the Status of Women member, a representative from the Division of Historical Resources, one member of the State Historical Marker Council, two members of the general public, and one appointee each by the Senate President, House Speaker and Secretary of State.

To qualify for a marker, a woman must have been born in, resided in or worked in Florida and made a significant contribution to the state, her county or community 30 or more years ago.

At least one woman from each of Florida’s 67 counties must be recognized.

The first 10 markers must be placed by Dec. 31, 2025. The final one must be placed no later than Dec. 31, 2025.

HB 629, which Lake Mary Republican Rep. Rachel Plakon is co-prime sponsoring, is to next go before the House Infrastructure and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee, after which it has one more stop before going to a floor vote.

SB 716 cleared the first of three committees to which it was referred last month.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 2, 2024 at 7:35 am

    The Florida state legislature can assign a gender identity to some signs.

    This same legislature says people, however, cannot assign gender their own identity to themselves.

    This is just more of “Do as I say” from the G0P, all dressed up to pretend it’s doing something for women other than taking over their bodies.

    I smell G.O.desPeration

Comments are closed.


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