New bill could allow local leaders in Virginia to decide fate of Confederate statues

In Virginia on Thursday, there was a big move toward the handling an ongoing controversy. 

Governor Ralph Northam wants counties and cities to make their own decision on what to do with statues and monuments, including controversial Confederate statues.

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Loudoun County is no stranger to the debate.

The Confederate soldier statues on Loudoun County Courthouse grounds have long been at the center of the controversy and now if Northam has his way, it could be up to local leaders and not the state to decide whether the statue stays or goes.

The governor is proposing the bill to the General Assembly.  It would still have to pass — which could be likely since the Democrats just took control of the House and Senate in the Commonwealth.

If passed, localities would have control over monuments and remove the existing statewide law prohibiting removing Confederate war memorials.

Some Loudoun County residents were mostly middle of the road. One resident says the descendants of those being honored with statuses should have a say as well.

Northam is also asking state lawmakers to pass a bill that would remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the Capitol and the governor is proposing funding for historic African American cemeteries, which would allow them to receive annual maintenance.