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Bill prompted by outcry against Union monument on Civil War battlefield narrowly passes

Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, explains his HB 493 allowing appeals of park officials' decisions on monuments. Photo by Bruce Ritchie.

A dispute over a monument for Union soldiers proposed at the Olustee Battlefield state park spilled over into the Capitol on Monday with legislation that barely passed its first committee stop. 

Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War in 2013 asked for permission to erect an obelisk in the state park in Baker County. On Feb. 20, 1864, 203 Union soldiers were killed there as they were advancing west while 93 Confederates were killed.

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