West Virginia bill to protect historic displays advances

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A West Virginia bill that aims to protect historic displays is advancing.

The Register-Herald reports the “West Virginia Monument and Memorial Protection Act of 2018” passed out of the Senate Committee on Government Organization Tuesday. The bill prohibits the removal, renaming, alteration or relocation of any statue, monument, memorial, school, street, bridge, building or park more than 50 years old that is recognized by the state Historic Preservation Office. The protected items also have to be named in honor of historical, military, labor, civil rights or Native American events, figures and organizations and on public property.

Legislators say the bill is in response to ongoing debate over removing Confederate monuments.

The policy director of the ACLU-West Virginia, Eli Baumwell, says the bill’s an “inexcusable waste of our Legislature’s limited time.”

It now heads to the Senate Committee on Finance.

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