COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina legislators announced a three-part legislative plan to protect historical monuments throughout the state.
It’s a combo bill lawmakers are calling “The Story of America” which includes protecting monuments, restoring history in classrooms, and preventing historical plaques from becoming editorialized.
Representative Bill Taylor from Aiken said House Bill 3249 would create severe penalties for local governments that remove historical monuments. He proposed to withhold funds from local governments if they take down monuments or change monuments, and that’s not all.
Taylor says, “local government officials voting in favor of monument removal would be guilty of a misdemeanor in office. It’s time to stand up and defend the history of South Carolina and of our nation.”
Democratic Representative Seth Rose says the controversial monuments like Ben Tillman, who was the former governor and known racist, need to come down.
Rose says, “If someone wants to do something on their private property they can, but this is public ground. It belongs to all walks of life.”
The two other bills would require the history of the founding of the country taught annually and consistent with the 1776 Commission Report which was just released under Donald Trump’s presidency.
The final bill would require all plaques to be approved by the Department of Archives and free of opinion just fact. There would also be a public opinion forum before plaques were erected.