Virginia lawmakers approve Confederate statue removal bills

National

FILE – This July 31, 2017 file photo shows the statue of confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Local Virginia governments may soon have the power to remove Confederate monuments in their public spaces under legislation approved Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 by state lawmakers. Largely along party lines, the Democrat-led House and Senate passed measures that would give cities and counties the autonomy to “remove, relocate, contextualize, cover or alter” the monuments in their public spaces.(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Local Virginia governments may soon have the power to remove Confederate monuments in their public spaces.

On Tuesday, both the Democrat-led House and Senate approved measures that would give cities and counties the autonomy to “remove, relocate, contextualize, cover or alter” the monuments in their public spaces.

After a violent 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Republican lawmakers had rejected renewed calls for the controversial statues to be removed from public places.

But the GOP recently lost full control of the General Assembly.

That gave Democrats an opportunity to target the statues that critics say distastefully glorify Virginia’s history as a slaveholding state.

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