Bean files bill requiring monuments get legislative OK
A Northeast Florida senator filed a bill Thursday that would require the state Department of Environmental Protection to get legislative approval before erecting historical monuments.
The bill (SB 672), sponsored by Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, is similar to a measure (HB 493) filed by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, after an outcry about a Union Civil War monument at the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park near Lake City.
Last year, the Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees state parks, received a proposal from the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War to add a monument for Union officers and soldiers at Olustee, the site of the largest Civil War battle in Florida.
But the outcry stemmed, at least in part, on a plan to place the monument on land acquired for the state by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909.
The House and Senate bills would allow the department to erect historical monuments “with express legislative approval.”