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Bill giving localities control over Confederate monuments passes Virginia Senate

Posted at 11:33 AM, Feb 11, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- A bill allowing Virginia localities control over Confederate monuments passed the Virginia Senate along a party-line vote (21 Democrats to 19 Republicans) on Tuesday.

SB 183 would provide that a locality may "remove, relocate, or alter any monument or memorial for war veterans located in its public space, regardless of when erected."

Current state law allows local governments to erect war monuments but prohibits the local governments from taking them down or modifying them. Current law also prohibits local governments from moving the monuments or adding placards explaining why they were erected.

The law has been the sticking point for those who want to remove Confederate statues along Monument Avenue in Richmond.

Last month, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam proposed legislation to give localities control and the authority to remove existing Confederate War memorials.

The Virginia House is expected to pass a similar bill.

This story was originally published by Vernon Freeman Jr. on WTVR in Richmond, Virginia.