The Tennessee House has passed a bill that would make it more difficult to remove statues or rename streets dedicated to historical figures like Confederate leaders.
The chamber voted 71-23 Thursday to approve the measure dubbed the "Tennessee Heritage Protection Act."
Calls to remove Confederate imagery from public places multiplied rapidly across the South after a white man espousing racist views killed nine black churchgoers last June in Charleston, South Carolina.
Under current state law it has taken a majority vote of the 29-member Tennessee Historical Commission to allow the removal or renaming of memorials by the state or local governments. The bill sponsored by Republican Representative Steve McDaniel of Parkers Crossroads would increase that threshold to require two-thirds of the commission to allow for a change.