Proposed bill would punish TN cities that remove historical monuments

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Two separate House committees introduced bills this week as a result of Memphis' decision to remove Confederate statues.

The monuments have been a controversial topic long before they were removed from Downtown Memphis. The way they were removed now continues to be a debated issue.

On Wednesday, a Tennessee legislative subcommittee approved a bill that would prevent the removal of historical statues. The bill would also allow the state to fine cities that violate the law.

Cities would also be required to get permission from the state historical commission before selling or transferring property containing a historical statue.

If the bill passes, public entities who violate the law would be banned from receiving grants from the state for five years.

Groups with an interest in the memorials would also be allowed to seek an injunction to stop the removal if they believe the law is being violated.

In December, the city sold the public parks containing Confederate statues to Memphis Greenspace. The non-profit then removed both of the statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis.

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