87th Texas Legislature

Dallas Lawmaker Files Bill to Remove Confederate Monuments at Texas Capitol

House Bill 1186, and several others regarding monuments, were in front of a House committee Monday

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There is a new effort to remove Confederate monuments that have stood for decades at the Texas Capitol in Austin.

One of the House bills aimed at removing the monuments was authored by state Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Dallas).

“My bill says: State Preservation Board, let’s get it offsite, let’s not give it a place of prominence," Anchia said. "Let’s not put Robert E. Lee at the highest point or Jefferson Davis at the highest point of the Capitol and glorify them -- these non-Texans who in fact ordered young men to go to die for a false cause, an immoral cause."

House Bill 1186 calls for the removal of portraits of Albert Sidney Johnston and Jefferson Davis in the Senate chambers; the portrait of Richard William Dowling in the House chamber; the cannons, the Confederate Soldiers Monument and Terry's Texas Rangers monument on the south grounds; and Hood's Texas Brigade Monument on the east grounds.

It also calls for the John H. Reagan Building to be renamed the Jackson-Webber Building in honor of abolitionists Nathaniel Jackson and John Webber.

Anchia's bill was heard Monday during a packed House Culture, Recreation and Tourism hearing, along with other bills regarding monuments at the Capitol.

Rep. John Cyrier (R-Lockhart) authored House Bill 4538, which says voters should decide on the removal of monuments 40 years or older.

“People have different opinions depending on what the monument is, or what the memorial is," he said. "I think really what this is trying to do is not just set up for today, you know, where we are at today, but you know in the future."

According to that bill, if a monument is less than 40 years old, city and county boards can make a decision.

Those two bills remain in committee.

A third bill, authored by Rep. Cole Hefner (R-Mount Pleasant), would prohibit moving a monument on state property that has been there for at least 40 years. That too remains in limbo.

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