Controversial monument preservation bill delayed in Alabama Senate

Alabama Confederate Monument
Alabama Confederate Monument [Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress]

The Alabama Senate has delayed a vote on a bill that would prohibit the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, or other disturbance of monuments located on public property.

On Thursday, senators said they needed more time to review SB60: the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act of 2017, given the ongoing regional debate over the appropriateness of monuments, street names and buildings with visible links to slavery.

Introduced by Sen. Gerald Allen, the bill would apply only to monuments that are more than 50 years old.

“I am concerned about politically-correct efforts to erase entire portions of American history, and oftentimes these efforts to remove a statue or a monument are done in haste and without public knowledge,” Allen said in a news release. “I believe our children and grandchildren should remember history as it happened – the good and the bad.”

Allen introduced a similar bill in 2015 — after Gov. Robert Bentley removed Confederate flags from the state Capitol grounds following backlash over the  flag’s symbolism after the horrific shootings in a South Carolina church — but it failed to gain enough support in the Alabama House of Representatives to make it to a vote before the end of session.