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Slavery Memorial Legislation Picks Up Speed and Passes First Committee Stop

October 11th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
While confederate monuments around the country are falling, the Florida Legislature is poised to put a new monument up recognizing the same time period, but the monument would honor those at the heart of the Civil War.
Monuments dot the grounds of the state Capitol. They honor first reposnders, veterans and even Martain Luther King Jr.
Now, Florida is one step closer to adding a new monument to the grounds after a House committee gave a near unanimous thumbs up to a bill constructing a slavery memorial.
“Adding this is a good thing. Not only to remind us of the injustices that have happened in the past, but in the light of everything that’s happening right now,” said Representative Blaise Ingoglia.
There’s no design for the monument yet. That will be left to planners if the bill becomes law.
The bill ran into trouble last session, but after the events in Charlottesville the Legislation has taken on a new importance. Senator Dennis Baxley is credited with killing the bill last session. He says that won’t be the case this time around.
“We should all honor those who came before us because we’re none perfect and we didn’t live in their time, but we can see the challenges that they faced and I want to reward that. And I want to be about building monuments rather than tearing them down and I need to make good on that and so I’m going to try to,” said Senator Baxley.
The bill has strong bipartisan support this year, and lawmakers on both side are optimistic the legislation will pass.
“You’re looking at an incoming leader of the Florida House for the Minority Party here along with the chair of the Republican Party of Florida. If there’s ever a moment where true bipartisanship is shown, it’s here on this defining issue,” said the bill’s sponsor, Representative Kionne McGhee.
If constructed, the monument would be the first of its kind at any state Capitol.
The monument would be constructed by the Department of Management Services. There’s no official cost estimate for the construction.

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