AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Removal of Confederate and other historical markers would need approval from voters or state lawmakers under a bill that won initial approval by the state Senate on Tuesday.

The bill would take removal powers away from local governments and other public entities who have grappled with calls to remove Confederate markers that are now facing protests about the era’s racist history.

The Dallas City Council voted last year to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park and the University of Texas in 2017 removed several statues of Lee and other Confederate figures.

Days after the city council voted to remove Dallas’ Confederate War Memorial in February it was vandalized.

The Confederate monument in Dallas after it was vandalized. (credit: Tom Riehm – CBS 11 News)

Someone used red spray paint to scrawl an expletive, with three letter K’s at the end, along with the words “Trump” and “Freedom,” at the base of the 120-year-old memorial.

A crew specializing in art and monument care was able to wipe most of the surface paint off the stone. A city parks crew used a power washer to remove the rest.

Earlier this year, Gov. Greg Abbott and other top state Republicans agreed to remove a Capitol plaque that said slavery was not the underlying cause of the Civil War.