According to a recent survey, numerous Floridians still hold high regard for memorials commemorating the Lost Cause of the Civil War, despite uncertainty about the South’s resurgence.
According to a survey conducted by Cygnal, a majority of 6 out of 10 likely Florida voters support a law that aims to protect historical monuments and memorials, including those honoring soldiers who fought for the Confederate States of America. The survey, which included 800 participants, revealed that only Democrats opposed the law, with 53% of them against it and only 28% in favor.
It’s worth noting that a significant 91% of Republicans are in favor of implementing this law, with a strong 81% of them expressing their unwavering support for it.
According to recent findings, even independent voters are in favor of the war memorials, with 51% expressing their support and only 30% opposing it. In fact, a significant proportion of non-affiliated voters, specifically 43%, strongly support the initiative.
In light of HB 395, introduced this year by Representative Dean Black of Jacksonville, the poll holds significant importance. The bill aims to safeguard historical monuments and memorials in the state, allowing for all necessary actions to be taken to protect and preserve them from any harm, damage, or destruction.
If passed, the proposed bill would hold local lawmakers and officials accountable for their decision to remove memorials by imposing a fine equivalent to the costs of repairing or replacing the removed memorial from their personal funds. Additionally, the bill would grant Governor Ron DeSantis the authority to remove elected officials from their positions at the local level starting from the bill’s effective date.
The bill’s wording explicitly establishes state preemption against “any local elected officials who may be influenced unduly by groups that feel offended or hurt by certain actions in the history of the state or nation.”
According to Gov. DeSantis, he has not yet had the opportunity to review the legislation. The proposed bill had been introduced in a different format during the 2023 Legislative Session but did not progress beyond the committee stage.
During a recent visit to Jacksonville, Governor DeSantis admitted that he was not familiar with the topic at hand and would need to examine it before providing an answer. “I don’t know,” he stated.
Many of his base voters would be pleased if he signs off on this legislation, according to the survey. However, it would upset those who wouldn’t vote for him anyway.