Bill to Give Cities Decision-Making Power over Confederate Monuments Killed
State lawmakers shot down a proposal on Wednesday to allow each locality to decide the fate of its Confederate monuments.
RICHMOND, Va. (WVIR) - State lawmakers shot down a proposal on Wednesday to allow each locality to decide the fate of its Confederate monuments.
This is the second year in a row that the bill was killed in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Charlottesville City Council was pushing the General Assembly to make this change into state law.
Delegate David Toscano introduced the bill earlier this month, but a 6-2 vote by a House subcommittee killed the bill on Wednesday morning. The bill would have amended part of the code of Virginia that would allow individual localities to remove, contextualize, or provide upkeep of any monument or war memorial.
People from Charlottesville spoke to the subcommittee before the vote. City Councilor Wes Bellamy, who led a charge to remove the Confederate statues from Downtown Charlottesville in 2017, says he is disappointed in the decision, which fell mostly along party lines.
“I think it’s also rather ironic when you see Republicans come out and say things such as they don’t want localities to be able to have the ability to make decisions about localities however they’re often the ones who are saying that they don’t believe in the government having so much control,” Bellamy said.
Bellamy says there are other options he is looking into to remove the statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
Delegate David Toscano tweeted shortly after the vote that he was sad to report the bill failed.