Tennessee legislature passes bill to make it harder to remove Confederate statues

Tennessee legislature passes bill to make it harder to remove Confederate statues
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The Tennessee legislature passed a bill Friday to close a loophole that cities could use to remove Confederate statues.

The bill bans cities from selling or transferring property that houses historic memorials without a court order or permission from the Tennessee Historical Society, according to The Associated Press.

The measure closes a loophole in the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which already places limits on the removal or alteration of historic monuments on public property.

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However, Memphis had gotten around the law by handing over the city’s parks to a nonprofit, which was then able to remove the Confederate memorials.

The bill now goes to Gov. Bill Haslam (R), who told reporters Friday that he needs to see the bill’s final language before coming to a decision.

“I think the unique thing there was Memphis owned that park. I kind of come back to, whoever owns property should be able to decide what happens on it,” he said, according to the AP.

The GOP-controlled Tennessee Legislature had already punished Memphis over the removal of the statues by pulling $250,000 from the budget for the city’s bicentennial celebration next year.

Cities across the U.S. removed Confederate monuments in the wake of the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year. The rally was held in defense of a Confederate monument.