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New bills proposed for removal of Confederate monuments from Georgia public property

ATLANTA — There’s a new effort to remove Confederate monuments and memorials from public land across Georgia, including Stone Mountain.

Channel 2′s Richard Elliot is at the State Capitol, where two new pieces of legislation were introduced Wednesday morning.

There are legal protections that Confederate monuments and memorials have under current Georgia laws.

This new effort comes in the shadow of the riot at the U.S. Capitol where some of those rioters carried Confederate symbols including flags.

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Rep. Billy Mitchell (D-Stone Mountain) is spearheading it.

“I believe the removal of confederate monuments, not only in this state but in this country, it is not a matter of if they will come down. It’s a matter of when,” Mitchell said.

There are two bills on the table. One would order the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials from all public land like courthouse squares.

The second would give the Stone Mountain Memorial Association the legal authority to remove all the Confederate symbols from the grounds of stone mountain.

It would leave the carving intact, but would end its maintenance.

Mitchell said while he’d like to see the carving of confederate leaders removed, he doesn’t think doing that is practical.

“My preference is that they all come down tomorrow, but I think my approach is a little more pragmatic than that,” he said.

Some GOP lawmakers are trying to add members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association. Those lawmakers declined to comment.

Meanwhile, House lawmakers could also vote the replace the statue of Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens at the U.S Capitol’s National Statuary Hall with the statue of late Rep. John Lewis.

With only one “no” vote, a Georgia House committee began the process. Rep. Al Williams (D-Midway) sponsored the resolution.

“I’m so happy that it’s time has come. I’m excited. We’ve shown great bi-partisan support and who better than John Lewis’ statue,” Williams said.

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