RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – The Virginia Senate has advanced legislation to scrap the state’s Lee-Jackson holiday celebrating two Confederate generals.
The Democratic-led Senate voted largely along party lines Tuesday to pass legislation that would make Election Day a state holiday instead of Lee-Jackson Day. The legislation now goes to the House for consideration.
Lee-Jackson Day was established over 100 years ago and is observed annually in January. It honors Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, both native Virginians.
Critics of the Lee-Jackson holiday view it as a celebration of the state’s slave-holding history that’s offensive to African Americans.
Many cities and counties have opted not to observe it.
Senator Louise Lucas expressed her excitement on social media for the passing of the legislation.
The bill would make it “easier for Virginian’s to vote,” said Lucas after the the Senate floor reached a 22-18 vote Tuesday afternoon.