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Introduced Version House Bill 4384 History

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

WEST virginia legislature

2020 regular session

Introduced

House Bill 4384

By Delegates Waxman, Bibby, Hanna, Howell, J.Kelly, Summers, Foster, Bartlett, Steele, Mandt and Worrell

Introduced January 16, 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 removal, renaming, alteration, or relocation of any statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, plaque, school, street, bridge, building, park, preserve, or reserve recognized by the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office and which is located on public property and has been erected for, or named or dedicated in honor of, certain historical, military, labor, 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 recognized by the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office; authorizing the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office to grant waivers under certain circumstances; and establishing penalties.

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) Not withstanding other provisions in this article, no statue, monument, memorial, nameplate, plaque, school, street, bridge, building, park, preserve, or reserve recognized by the State of West Virginia or any political subdivision thereof, which is located on public property may be removed, renamed, altered, or relocated, except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, if such has been erected for, or named or dedicated in honor of leaders, persons, and events including any historical figure event or, organization in:

(1) The military history of West Virginia, including, but not limited to, persons, places or events currently located in West Virginia but located in Virginia before or during the U. S. Civil War;

(2) The history of industrial development in West Virginia, including the labor union movement and activities, mining disasters or mine wars;

(3) The struggle for African-American Civil Rights, or the struggle for Women’s Civil Rights; or

(4) The history of Native Americans or American Indians in West Virginia.

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

(d) No person may prevent a governmental entity from taking appropriate measures, for the protection, preservation, care, repair, or restoration of those items, structures, or areas described in subsection (b) of this section. However, the item or structure must be replaced or restored within 30 days from being disturbed.

(e) This section shall apply to items, structures, or areas described in subsection (b) which have attained the age of 50 years. This section does not apply to items, structures, or areas described in subsection (b) of this section 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 entity exercising control of public property on which an item, structure or area described in subsection (b) of this section 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 shall grant the permit request and may include reasonable conditions and instructions to ensure that any items, structures, or areas are preserved to the greatest extent practicable.  An entity may lawfully remove, alter or relocate an item, structure or area under authority, and in compliance with, the terms of a permit issued pursuant to this subsection.

(g) For the purposes of subsection (f) of this section, “good cause shown” shall be deemed to have been established if the item or structure is relocated to an area of equal or greater public access and visibility, so long as the original location is not integral to the item or structure’s historical significance. “Good cause shown” shall also be deemed to have been established if areas are only minimally impacted as a proportion of their overall dimensions.

(h) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 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, or  renaming, 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, labor, 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. Waivers may be granted 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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