Florida bill would make it illegal for local governments to remove Confederate statues

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A new state law in the works in Florida would make it illegal for local governments to tear down Confederate statues.

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The bill was just introduced and is already stirring up a big debate, after a national drive to remove the statues, WFTV-TV reported.

Patricia Schnurr considers herself a historian and said, "I have 38 ancestors who fought in the American Revolution."

The 96-year-old says she's fought her whole life to preserve all history, and over the summer, she urged Orlando City Council to save the 106-year-old "Johnny Reb" statue at Lake Eola.

"I went down there but they already voted on it," Schnurr said.

So when she heard about the state bill that would no longer allow the removal of Confederate statues, she was all for it.

It's called the Soldiers and Heroes Monuments and Memorials Protection Act.

The bill was filed by Republican Rep. Mike Hill of Pensacola, and would only allow Confederate statues to be removed or relocated in order to refurbish the monuments.

"Johnny Reb" was relocated to the Confederate section of historic Greenwood Cemetery.

Some Orlando residents said they are glad it's no longer at Lake Eola.

Lake County leaders are also looking for ways to display the statue of Confederate Gen. Kirby Smith, which was taken out of the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall earlier this year.

Schnurr didn't see how this, or any of the statues, were offensive.

“The whole monument was put up by the Ladies Memorial Society,” Schnurr said. “And it was put up to honor the husbands, fathers and brothers.”