Confederate Statue Bills All Die in Subcommittees

Posted: Updated:
Vice Mayor Heather Hill Vice Mayor Heather Hill
The covered statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park The covered statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park

Charlottesville City Council's final opportunity to legally remove Confederate statues in two parks officially rests in the hands of a judge, now that the General Assembly won't be taking up the issue.

All of the General Assembly bills revolving around the removal of Confederate statues died in subcommittees.

This means the laws centering on the issue will not change in 2018.

"It's certainly disappointing. I think we are in a position where it's not even what you do but you have the choice as a locality,” Charlottesville Vice Mayor Heather Hill said.

All four of the GA bills revolving around the removal of Confederate statues have died in subcommittees.

Now, the issue remains in the hand of a Charlottesville judge.

"Locally we have some other things in the works and those decisions will transpire in the coming weeks but in parallel we are looking at ways we can transform our parks regardless of the outcomes,” Hill said.

Hill still believes it should be the city's decision to remove Confederate statues, not the state.

"I think it's very important that we have that authority," Hill said.

"There have been a number of other bills that were designed to give localities control over all monuments but this one was just, mine was just devoted to controlling Civil War monuments,” 57th District Del. David Toscano (D) said.

Toscano says the issue is still a priority.

“The monuments in Charlottesville are different from the ones in Bedford or Loudoun. Localities ought to be in the best position to assess," Toscano said.

Hill and Toscano say the question at hand is what defines a war memorial. Until that is answered, the council and delegates are stuck.

"It's a really fine line between how we are categorizing these things. To me, what's more important is what do they mean to our community? How do they impact our public?" Hill said.

The lawsuit against the city's attempt to remove the statues is expected to be heard in Charlottesville Circuit Court on Monday.