Last Updated on February 20, 2024

Highly-touted legislation in Florida that aimed to ban the removal of American monuments and bar the flying of the LGBT flag at schools and government buildings has died in committee after being killed off by the Florida GOP, which refused to move on the bills before the end of the 2024 legislative session.

Florida Republicans are backing down after generating national press that claimed they were taking a stand against historical vandals and LGBT subversives as Florida State Senate Leadership says that bills to bar monument removals and the flying of gay pride flags on government buildings are dead.

On Senate Bill 1122, which aimed to bar the removal or destruction of historical monuments on public property, Florida State Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said that the debate became a little too spirited, and therefore, the bill has to go away. Apparently, along with America’s monuments.

SB 1122, Passidomo said, “has been weaponized by both sides and that troubles me. That’s not how we run our chamber, that’s not how we pass our legislation, at least for me. And so, at this point, I don’t see that bill coming back.”

Though the bill did not expressly mention Confederate monuments, Florida was a Confederate state and has seen numerous of its statues torn down and destroyed, under the watch of Governor Ron DeSantis, who has claimed that he supports legislation to bar their removal.

Senate Bill 1122 is accompanied in death by Senate Bill 1120, which sought to bar the flying of the LGBT flag at government buildings, including public schools.

The death of the legislation comes after Ron DeSantis tried to position himself as a warrior for America’s kids, and told parents that Florida would defend its students against LGBT subversion.

Senate President Passidomo says that the Senate merely “ran out of time” before the March 8th end of the legislative session, and just won’t be able to protect kids this year.

The monument and flag legislation are far from the only bills to die before the end of the Florida State Legislature’s 2024 session, and Republicans, especially in the Senate, are facing growing heat from their constituents because of it. 

The failure to pass the bills comes despite Republicans controlling both the House and Senate chambers of the legislature, as well as, obviously, the governorship.

But that hasn’t seemed to bother them, as noted by Florida NBC affiliate WPTV, which reported:

Despite these measures gaining traction in the House and being listed as priorities by the Florida GOP, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, has shown little interest, emphasizing the autonomy of the Legislature in lawmaking.

“Our bill process is not the Republican Party of Florida,” Passidomo said last week. “We are the Legislature. We make the laws. We review the laws.”

Among the other initiatives to die this year is an abortion ban that originated in the House, and a bill to lower the age to purchase a long gun from 21, back to 18 – Which is what the law in Florida used to be before Republican Governor-turned-US Senator Rick Scott groveled to the gun control lobby and signed legislation raising the age of purchase and installing numerous other roadblocks to lawful gun ownership. 

Notably, most of the aforementioned bills or causes, at one point or another, generated positive press for the DeSantis campaign, as Americans were told that he was ruling Florida like a right-winger’s paradise and commanding the legislature to enact a populist, traditionalist agenda.

The legislature, however, has proven this not to be true.

Related: Defeated DeSantis Sees Influence Wane Upon Return to Florida