Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has signed into law a bill to prohibit local governments from moving historical monuments on public property that have been in place for 40 years or more. The new law also prohibits renaming buildings and streets with historical names that have been in place at least 40 years.
Lawmakers have debated similar legislation for several years. The new law comes at a time when the appropriateness of Confederate symbols has come under reconsideration in some places.
The law is not restricted to Confederate monuments, but has broad impact.
Restrictions also apply to monuments at least 20 years old but less than 40, and streets and schools at least 20 years old but less than 40 that are named after a historical person. Removal or renaming requires approval from a newly created Committee on Alabama Monument Protection. The law outlines the process required to get a waiver from the committee.
The law, proposed in a bill by Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, is called the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.
“I appreciate Gov. Ivey standing up for the thoughtful preservation of Alabama’s history,” Allen said in a press release. “Contrary to what its detractors say, the Memorial Preservation Act is intended to preserve all of Alabama’s history – the good and the bad – so our children and grandchildren can learn from the past to create a better future.”