Sunday, September 6, 2020

Fwd: HB5030 on Monuments is in the House

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Sat, Sep 5, 2020 6:25 pm
Subject: HB5030 on Monuments is in the House

They did take out the unconstitutional ability for a locality to reach into private property and cemeteries. Also, deleted is the part that would have taken away the protection of " a monument or memorial located on the property of a public institution of higher education within the City of Lexington" and left the protection of monuments in Public Cemeteries.

Below are all of what is  considered  to be very detrimental changes to the current law.

1. They take out any public notice of any intent of a local governing body to remove, relocate or alter a monument. A local governing body could come in their regular meeting. Add it to their agenda, vote to have a monument removed and have a crane immediately start taking it down while the meeting was still going on. This was done illegally in Farmville. It would take out any required input whatsoever by the citizens.   
2. They added the one thing we hate most. ALTER. We worked hard to have that word removed last session. They can alter a monument into some perpetual insult. I saw actual proposals to take the head off General Jackson and put it on his horse's rear. Things of this nature and worse. This could lead to violence because this would be a considered by certain citizens as"red line" crossed. This provision is simply for vengeance against those long dead and their descendants.
3. They took out the ability for a locality to leave a monument and contextualize it. They want to prevent a locality from being able to leave a monument but simply explain what it is or what their version of the person it depicted. They want to make it more difficult for a locality to keep a monument.
4. They took out the requirement for a locality to offer it to a battlefield, museum, historical society or government. That was sort of toothless anyway because it left the ultimate decision of where one went to the locality which could give it to anyone they wanted and that person could destroy it.
5. They took out that a " locality shall have the sole authority to determine the final disposition of the monument or memorial". This would restrict what a locality could do with a monument. Under this Bill it appears a locality could ONLY- remove and store, relocate or alter a monument. The localities that pushed for the original change all wanted local control of their monuments. This takes that away and gives the authority back to the Commonwealth. This is good and bad. It appears to take away the ability of a locality to give a monument to someone that can then destroy it, but also the ability to give it to an organization or battlefield that will properly preserve and or display it. 

Question- Can they change the law with litigation concerning the current law pending? It seems that under article 4 section 14 of the Virginia Constitution they can not.  This was stated in the Committee Hearing by Mr. Dillion Bishop representing the Virginia History and Heritage Coalition but ignored.

This Bill is a long way from passing in this form and will be fought tooth, nail and claw every inch of the way. 
 You  know what to do.   Contact your state delegate and senator and  tell them when/if it comes before them for a vote the reason why they should vote NO.
Our adversaries never tire of pushing their agendas .  We must never tire of opposing them. 

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