A bill that would authorize the placement of a privately funded Bill of Rights Monument on the grounds of the state Capitol was approved by a state House committee Tuesday, despite concerns by some that the process of authorizing monuments has become too politicized.
The bill passed the States’ Rights Committee by a vote of 9-3. It previously was approved by the state Senate and will now go to the full House for consideration.
State Rep. Mike Shelton said he has no problem with the Bill of Rights, but voted against the bill because he believes the process of lawmakers choosing which monuments go on Capitol grounds is too politicized.
The Oklahoma Capitol Preservation Commission is being sued over a decision to allow a monument to the Ten Commandments to be placed on Capitol grounds. Groups representing atheists, Satanists and others have come forward to request monuments of their own.
“I think there needs to be a process outside of this Legislature to determine what goes on this property,” said Shelton, D-Oklahoma City. “Most recently, when the Legislature’s involved in it, typically we’ve done a good job of messing stuff up.”
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