Bill would let Virginia cities remove Confederate monuments

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia cities would have the authority to remove or alter Confederate monuments under a proposal from a top Democratic state lawmaker.

House Minority Leader David Toscano filed a bill this week that he said aims to clarify what’s allowed now under a law designed to protect war memorials.

The long-simmering debate about what to do with symbols of the Confederacy was renewed this summer after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, which is part of Toscano’s district. The rally was held in part to protest the liberal city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Virginia, where much of the Civil War was fought, is dotted with monuments and other tributes to the Confederacy.

Republicans expressed doubt Thursday about the measure’s chances of passage.

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