The 87th Legislative Session has now concluded, and ultimately, very little was done to protect monuments and markers commemorating the history of the state of Texas.
In the wake of a year marked with protests against law enforcement spawning from the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and controversy from the last few years between Texans and the General Land Office on the location of the Alamo Cenotaph, it is a wonder why the Legislature chose not to act on either.
The Republican Party of Texas again added monument protection as one of its legislative priorities this cycle. The specific language listed in their platform says:
“All monuments or markers in our state shall be protected by law from being removed, defaced, destroyed, or otherwise dishonored. In particular, specific protection shall be given to the Alamo Cenotaph which shall not be removed from its current location off the Alamo Battlefield footprint.”
None of the Republican leaders in the state seemingly prioritized monument protection, however, despite more than 97 percent of Republican primary voters supporting ballot language describing the complete legal protection of historic landmarks during the 2020 primary elections.
Final Disposition of Legislation on Monument Protection
Of the bills that were filed, only a handful were granted public hearings, and by the end of the legislative session, only one bill had made it across the legislative finish line.
House Bill 3584 by State Rep. Andrew Murr (R–Junction) passed both chambers and is currently awaiting Gov. Greg Abbott’s consideration. This bill explicitly states that any monument, markers, or medallions installed by the Texas Historical Commission are under their jurisdiction and may not be altered, removed, relocated, covered, obscured, or concealed without the expressed consent of the commission itself. It also allows the Texas attorney general to file a suit in a district
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