- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - The Latest on a bill adding hurdles to the process for removing Confederate monuments (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says a proposal that would make it more difficult to remove Confederate monuments is impractical and unnecessarily divisive.

During a news conference Tuesday, the Democratic governor wouldn’t say whether he would veto Republican Rep. Thomas Carmody’s bill. But he called it “problematic” in its current form.

Edwards’ comments came hours after the Legislative Black Caucus held a news conference to denounce the bill, which the House passed Monday and heads to the Senate. Black representatives had condemned the measure and walked off the floor following the vote.

Edwards says he never saw such division in his eight years as a legislator.

Carmody’s bill would prohibit the removal of any monument on public property commemorating a historic military figure or event, unless voters agree in an election.

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12:15 p.m.

A day after storming off the Louisiana House floor in protest over a bill protecting Confederate monuments, members of the Legislative Black Caucus say their colleagues showed a lack of leadership by advancing the bill.

Rep. Joseph Bouie, caucus chairman, urged the Senate during a news conference Tuesday to strike down Rep. Thomas Carmody’s proposal. But Bouie says there are no plans to retaliate legislatively.

House Speaker Taylor Barras, who supported the bill, says he’s concerned that the issue’s divisiveness could impact other debates. But he says he’s reached out to black caucus members to encourage “healing.”

The bill, which passed the House 65-31 Monday, seeks to ban the removal of any monument on public property commemorating a historic military figure or event, unless voters agree.

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House Bill 71: www.legis.la.gov

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