RICHMOND, V.a. (WJHL) — Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill Saturday that allows localities to remove Confederate monuments in their communities, according to a press release.
This bill will also launch the process of replacing Virginia’s statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol.
“Racial discrimination is rooted in many of the choices we have made about who and what to honor, and in many of the laws that have historically governed this Commonwealth,” Gov. Northam said. “These new laws make Virginia more equitable, just, and inclusive, and I am proud to sign them.”
Senate Bill 183 and House Bill 1537, sponsored by Senator Mamie Locke and Delegate Delores McQuinn respectively overturn the Commonwealth’s prohibition on the removal of Confederate war memorials, according to the release.
Beginning July 1, localities will have the ability to remove, relocate, or contextualize the monuments in their communities.
Senate Bill 612 and House Bill 1406, sponsored by Senator Louise Lucas and Delegate Jeion Ward, respectively, create a commission to recommend a replacement for the Robert E. Lee statue in the United States Capitol, according to the release.
“These monuments tell a particular version of history that doesn’t include everyone,” Gov. Northam said. “In Virginia, that version of history has been given prominence and authority for far too long.”