The California Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would ban the use of names of Confederate leaders on state and local property.
SB 539 would require the removal of such names on existing schools, roadways and other locations by 2017.
It would affect two California schools named after Gen. Robert E. Lee, one in San Diego and the other in Long Beach.
The bill’s author, Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda, said Confederate leaders don’t deserve the honor due to their association with slavery.
"I don’t want to erase their names from our history books. I just don’t want our children looking up to people who fought to preserve a system that treated human beings as chattel," Glazer told his colleagues on the Senate floor.
"Several Republicans voted against the measure. Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, said it amounts to revisionist history.
"You’re just going to wipe out some very important individuals who were a part of the history of this country. We may have objection with them. But if we’re going to add to that list, I submit there’s a lot bigger list of objectionable people," Nielsen said.
The bill now goes to Governor Jerry Brown.
Also on Tuesday, the Senate passed the California Racial Mascots Act. It would prohibit public schools from using the term Redskins as a school or athletic team name, mascot, or nickname beginning January 1, 2017.
That bill, also known as AB 30, now goes back to the Assembly for a final vote.