Arkansas monument protection bill fails in state committee

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FILE – In this Sept. 18, 2012, file photo, a monument to teenage Confederate spy David O. Dodd, who was executed in 1864, is displayed in front of an elementary school named for him in Little Rock, Ark. Arkansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it illegal to remove or alter any military […]

An Arkansas House committee has defeated a measure that would have made it illegal to remove or alter any military or historical monument on public property in the state, including those honoring the Confederacy.

The State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee voted Tuesday against the bill , which would have only allowed alterations to monuments after a historical agency granted a waiver.

Republican state Sen. Mark Johnson and Rep. Mark Lowery, who sponsored the bill, had changed it since it passed the Senate so it didn’t cover streets, reserves or preserves. It would have still made it illegal to alter or remove statues, schools, buildings, and bridges, among other dedications.

Opponents were concerned that it would remove local control, while those in favor said it would protect history from political whims.

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