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Introduced Version House Bill 4817 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

FISCAL NOTEWEST virginia legislature

2020 regular session

Introduced

House Bill 4817

By Delegates Phillips, McGeehan, Bibby and D. Kelly

[Introduced February 11, 2020; Referred to the Committee on Government Organization]

A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §29-1-8c, relating to the West Virginia Monument and Memorial Protection Act of 2020; prohibiting the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, rededication, or other disturbance of any statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, or plaque which is located on public property and has been erected for, or named, or dedicated in honor of certain historical military, civil rights, and Native American events, figures, and organizations; prohibiting any person from preventing the governmental entity having responsibility for maintaining the items, structures, or areas from taking proper measures to protect, preserve, care for, repair, or restore the items, structures, or areas; and authorizing the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office to grant waivers under certain circumstances.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:


ARTICLE 1. DIVISION OF CULTURE AND HISTORY.

§29-1-8c. Protection of Monuments and Memorials; penalties.

(a) Short title. -- This section shall be known and may be cited as the “West Virginia Monument and Memorial Protection Act of 2020”.

(b)(1) No statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, plaque, school, street, bridge, building, park, preserve, or reserve which has been erected for, or named or dedicated in honor of events in our military history or any historical military figure, historical military event, military organization, or military unit, including, but not limited to, those taking part in: The French and Indian War, American Revolution, War of 1812, U.S. Mexican War, the War Between the states, Spanish-American War, the Mexican border period, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the Vietnam War, Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada), Operation El Dorado Canyon (Libya), Operation Just Cause (Panama), Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm (Persian Gulf War I), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (Persian Gulf War II), and is located on public property, may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated, or otherwise disturbed.

(2) No statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, plaque, historic flag display, school, street, bridge, building, park, preserve, or reserve which has been erected for, or named or dedicated in honor of events in our labor union movement and activities or mine wars; and is located on public property, may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated, or otherwise disturbed.

(3) No statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, plaque, historic flag display, school, street, bridge, building, park, preserve, or reserve which has been erected for, or named or dedicated in honor of leaders and events in the struggle for African-American Civil Rights and is located on public property, may be relocated, removed, altered, renamed, rededicated, or otherwise disturbed.

(4) No statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, plaque, historic flag display, school, street, bridge, building, park, preserve, or reserve which is located on public property and has been erected for, or named, or dedicated in honor of Native Americans or American Indians or any historical Native American or American Indian figure, historical Native American or American Indian rights event, or Native American or American Indian organization may be renamed or rededicated.

(5) For the purposes of this section, “public property” means all property owned or leased by the State of West Virginia, any county, municipality, or any other entity or political subdivision that is created by act of the Legislature to perform any public function.

(c) No person may prevent the governmental entity having responsibility for maintaining any of the items, structures, or areas described in subsection (b) of this section from taking proper and appropriate measures, and exercising proper and appropriate means, for the protection, preservation, care, repair, or restoration of those items, structures, or areas.

(d) Any entity exercising control of public property on which an item, structure or area described in subsection (b) is located may petition the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office for a permit to remove, alter or relocate the item, structure or area. A petition for a permit shall be in writing and shall state the reason, or reasons, upon which the permit is sought. Upon good cause shown, the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office may grant such permit request and may include reasonable conditions and instructions to ensure that any items, structures, or areas are preserved to the greatest extent possible. An entity may lawfully remove, alter or relocate an item, structure or area under authority and in compliance of the terms of a permit issued pursuant to this subsection.

(e)(1) This section shall apply to items, structures, or areas described in subsection (b) in existence prior to January 1, 1970, and those lawfully erected, named or dedicated on or after January 1, 1970.

(2) This section does not apply to items, structures, or areas described in subsection (b) that are located on public property under the control of, or acquired by, the Department of Transportation which may interfere with the construction, maintenance, or operation of the public transportation system. The department shall strive to ensure that any such items, structures, or areas are preserved to the greatest extent possible.

(f) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 dollars or confined in jail for not more than six months, or both fined and confined.

 

 

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the relocation, removal, alteration, renaming, rededication, or other disturbance of any statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, or plaque which is located on public property and has been erected for, or named, or dedicated in honor of certain historical military, civil rights, and Native American events, figures, and organizations; to prohibit any person from preventing the governmental entity having responsibility for maintaining the items, structures, or areas from taking proper measures to protect, preserve, care for, repair, or restore the items, structures, or areas; and to establish a process by which the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office may grant waivers under certain circumstances.

 

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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