State lawmakers passed legislation protecting Texas historical monuments in the most recent legislative session, but an amendment added to the Senate version of the legislation threatens to make it meaningless, according to local reports.
In the previous weeks and months, Big League Politics reported on the push to tear down a broad range of Texas historical monuments, as well as the push to protect historical monuments and school names from liberal city halls with new state bans on removal.
Two pieces of proposed legislation, specifically, Senate Bill 1663 and House Bill 3948 — declared new state powers to “strip local governments of their authority to take down historical monuments, statues or portraits, or even rename schools, parks, streets and other public property,” reported the left-leaning Texas Observer.
State Sen. Brandon Creighton, a Republican from Houston, TX, passed what’s believed to be the more weighty and (because it started in the Senate) more influential form of the proposed monument protection law, but Rules Committee member Kel Seliger, a liberal Republican condemned by both Gov. Abbott and Lt. Gov. Patrick for “obstruction,” added a last-minute amendment that most Texas politicos believe neuters Creighton’s legislation and makes it worthless.
Amend CSSB 1663 (senate committee printing) in SECTION 4 of the bill, in added Section 338.002, Local Government Code, (page 3, between lines 23 and 24), as follows:Strike “only by approval of a majority of the voters of the municipality or county, as applicable, voting at an election held for that purpose” and substitute the following:“only by supermajority vote by the governing body of the municipality or the commissioners court of the county, as applicable”
[UPDATE: As of writing, the bill as it came out of the Senate is gone, substituted with another bill. Now, any monument over 40 years old can’t be moved at all, by anybody. Still, Seliger’s actions may deserve mention.]
Were Seliger’s amendment to be successful, the law would’ve remained very close to what it is presently, and the status quo would not prevent Dallas City Council from tearing down 100-year-old monuments in graveyards to those who fell in the Civil War. Chris Eckstrom and his organization Conservative Response Team ran ads all over the state on major networks depicting the city council meetings where Texas history was condemned to an asheap. We covered the ads at BLP. (See here, and here.)
Creighton contended that SB 1663 is fundamentally about historical preservation and education. “We need to educate, not celebrate, what [the Confederacy] stood for,” he said, adding that the measure is about “recognizing the good, the bad and the ugly of our past.”
Though praised by the grassroots (whatever that means) for his initial bill, Sen. Creighton rolled over and agreed to an amendment from Senator Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, that gives local city coucils the power — as they have right at this moment with no change necessary — to continue voting on tearing down monuments.
Former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and primary challenger to George P. Bush in 2017 says that it’s not quite the crisis or loss some critics believe it to be.
“Not exactly. The switch from popular vote to supermajority of City Council does not apply to the Alamo Cenotaph, so if SB1663 passes with the Seliger amendment that monument is still protected, and while I prefer the popular vote option, a supermajority of council is a hell of a lot better than it is now,” stated Patterson in an email to this reporter.
And, the House substituted HB 583 for SB 1663, which retains the popular election and cans the supermajority of council vote.
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Baltimore’s Population Plummets as the City Becomes Dysfunctional
ZeroHedge recently reported on the dire state of Baltimore.
The city’s population fell below 600,000, as it is rocked by “record homicides, an opioid crisis, and now an economic depression risks sending the city deeper into chaos.”
The Baltimore Sun, cited new U.S. Census data released on March 26, 2020, which estimated that Baltimore’s population was 593,490 as of July 2019.
ZeroHedge provided some context to Baltimore’s imploding demographics:
To give you some perspective on the collapsing population trend in Baltimore. In 1950, the city had 950,000 residents. Now it has 593,490, which is a loss of 356,510 people, or about 37.5% of the entire population in seven decades.
“White flight”, the crack epidemic of the 1980s/1990s, and a complete mismanagement of the city, have led to its notable decline. As a result, many have fled the city altogether or have gone to Baltimore County and other surrounding counties.
Michael Rendall, the director of the Maryland Population Research Center and a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, said in the aftermath 2015 Baltimore Riots, no other counties surrounding the city witnessed a decline in the population.
The city’s plunging population, Rendall stated, “is not a phenomenon reflective of the overall metropolitan area.”
During the last year, Baltimore City saw 8,953 people leave the city, which is 1.5 percent of its population.
Putting this in perspective, when Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was in office in 2014, the city had over 623,000 residents. In other words, the city has lost about 5% of its population in five years.
Ever since the riots, Baltimore’s economic growth has stagnated, homicides have been on the rise, and opioids have wreaked havoc on low-income neighborhoods. In 2019, Baltimore’s homicide rate
Given the shocking realities of its high crime, it’s shocking the city hasn’t even bothered to pass legislation that would help citizens arm themselves against the very real threat of criminals.
It also doesn’t help that the city has embraced many of the wacky criminal justice reforms which empower criminals, while law-abiding citizens are at the mercy of society’s most depraved.
Baltimore is Exhibit A of a failed city.
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