Florida bill aims to punish cities for removing Confederate monuments

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(WFLA) – A proposed bill in the Florida House of Representatives would punish cities for removing historical monuments and memorials, even if the removal happened five years ago.

HB-395 was filed by Republican Rep. Dean Black of Jacksonville on Thursday, over three years after the city’s controversial removal of a Confederate statue from a public park.

If passed, the bill would prohibit local governments from removing existing monuments and memorials. Any official involved in removing or damaging the fixtures will be fined $5,000 or the cost of the removal and replacement of the monument, whichever is higher. They may also be liable for triple the amount required to restore the fixture and could face unspecified “punitive damages.”

Those officials could be removed and replaced themselves, according to the bill.

“An elected official acting in his or her official capacity who knowingly and willfully violates this section is subject to removal from office by the Governor,” the bill’s text reads.

HB-395 would apply retroactively to “any monuments or memorials that have been removed, damaged, or destroyed on or after January 1, 2017.” Residents of many…

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