Bill to penalize 'sanctuary cities' passes House on 2nd try

Bill to penalize 'sanctuary cities' passes House on 2nd try

Bill to penalize 'sanctuary cities' passes House on 2nd try

After hours of at times emotional debate, the Louisiana House voted Monday in favor of a bill aimed at protecting Confederate monuments across the state.

After more than two hours of impassioned speeches - nearly all of them coming from those opposing the legislation - the House voted 65-31 Monday for Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody's bill.

The legislation now goes to the state Senate. He said he's reached out to black caucus members to encourage "healing".

Nationally, the debate over Confederate symbols has flared since nine black parishioners were shot to death by an avowed racist at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

There are two other Confederate monuments in Louisiana: Caddo Parish Confederate Monument in Shreveport and the Confederate soldiers monument in front of the East Feliciana courthouse in Clinton.

The bill is not retroactive.

The bill's approval comes just weeks after New Orleans made efforts to remove the first of four Confederate monuments across the city.

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Rep. Pat Smith argued that the state should not be honoring the history of white supremacists and ignoring the history of those they enslaved. He said its aim is not to preserve Confederate monuments so much as to give local residents a say in the issue.

While Louisiana's Confederate past "is certainly a part of our history, can we say it's the best part?" "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 argued on the House floor.

"The monuments you seek to protect are deeply offensive to African-Americans and to Christians", she said Monday, according to the Advocate.

Robert Travis Scott, president of Public Affairs Research (PAR) Council, a non-partisan public policy think tank in Baton Rouge who served on the transportation task force, said his skepticism has changed throughout the decades he has been following this issue. "We must stand together in support of this public safety measure", Landry said. State Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin, said "we're here to refight the civil war that ended 150 years ago" while the state still is fighting to balance its budget.

Jones concluded that lawmakers need to be more focused on helping the living, rather than debating how to honor the dead. It doesn't specifically single out the Civil War ― in fact, it doesn't even get the name right ― instead listing a slew of different wars as examples, including the euphemistic "War Between the States". "The cause was wrong".

"One thing we learned in this is we have a problem".

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