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Florida Slavery Memorial Gets Senate Approval

Michael Rivera
Wikimedia Commons
The Florida State Capitol complex in Tallahassee.

A bill that would create a memorial to honor the untold number of slaves in Florida history awaits Gov. Rick Scott’s signature.

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously approved the measure (HB 67), which would require the Department of Management Services to develop a plan and costs for the memorial on the Capitol grounds.

The plan would then be submitted to the governor and legislative leaders.

Sen. Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat who sponsored the proposal in the Senate, said the intent is not to “glorify the institution” of slavery.

“This bill honors and memorializes the men and women, who were slaves, for their sacrifice to the building of this state and this nation and the Old Capitol that still stands on these grounds,” Rouson said.

Sen. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican who played a role in preventing a similar bill from passing last year, walked over to shake Rouson’s hand as the vote was announced.

The House approved the measure 105-0 on Jan. 25.