A Tennessee legislator has introduced a bill that would add a statue of legendary country star Dolly Parton to the State Capitol Building in downtown Nashville.
Democratic Rep. John Mark Windle, whose jurisdiction includes Fentress, Morgan and Overton counties, introduced House Bill 135 on Tuesday, which would have the State Capitol Commission "develop and implement a plan for the commissioning of a statue of Dolly Parton, top recognize her for all that she contributed to this state," according to the bill, which was shared on TN.gov.
Rep. Windle said the proposed statue of the East Tennessee native would be placed on the Capitol grounds and face the direction of Ryman Auditorium. He also said the commission would be vetting the public, as well as "other interested parties," while developing a plan for the statue, including the design of the statue.
House Bill 135 states an account would be created within the state general fund, known as the Dolly Parton fund, which would pay for the statue's design, construction and installations costs. The fund would be financed through donations received by the state through both fund and non-state fund sources.
A Change.org petition launched in June calling for statues of Parton to replace Confederate statues at the State Capitol Building garnered more than 5,000 signatures.
Parton is one of the most beloved country singers of all-time and has made notable humanitarian efforts both within the state of Tennessee and globally. The 'Jolene' singer is credited for donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, which helped researchers develop Moderna's coronavirus vaccine, among numerous other charitable contributions throughout her legendary career.
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