Conference committee to decide fate of Confederate monuments bill

Alvin Kelly
May 18, 2017

The Louisiana House has, on its second attempt, passed a proposal to penalize so-called "sanctuary cities" that limit cooperation with immigration authorities.

Following the removal of two monuments honoring the Confederacy earlier this month, the Louisiana House passed a bill Monday night that would protect monuments across the state from being taken down by local governments and municipalities. The entire Legislative Black Caucus voted against it.

Former U.S. Senate candidate Rob Maness said the bill is about protecting military veteran monuments.

Rep. Joseph Bouie, a New Orleans Democrat who is caucus chairman, urged the Senate to strike down Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody's proposal.

"There's a lot of temperatures raised".

There were four Confederate statues in New Orleans, but two have been removed since the end of April. The caucus has no plans to retaliate legislatively, however, Bouie said during a news conference.

House Bill 71 from state State Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, prevents "altering, removing, relocating, or destroying a memorial, including any structure, plaque, statue, or monument that is located on public property and that commemorates specified wars in USA history".

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"It was disgusting, we just couldn't stay", Black caucus member Rep. Terry Landry (D-Lafayette) told The Advocate while standing in the hall waiting for an aide to retrieve his glasses and cellphone from his desk in the chamber.

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Confederate monuments in New Orleans - four monuments in particular - have become a heated subject since they were slated for removal by Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the City Council in the summer of 2015. The incidents came a week after nine black congregants at a Charleston, South Carolina, church, where killed in a racially motivated attack.

After the vote, all African American members walked off the House floor in protest. He said its aim is not to preserve Confederate monuments so much as to give local residents a say in the issue.

'It allows for the people to have their input in the decision to remove military monuments from the public spaces in which they live, ' Carmody said, according to CBS News. Carmody was the only legislator speaking in support of the measure. Rep. Ted James of Baton Rouge said he and his colleagues went to a private room downstairs to "calm down" and "regroup".

One outraged voice was Rep. Gary Carter of New Orleans, who was incensed at what the state's GOP was trying to do, and let his colleagues know it.

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