Feb 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Virginia to abolish state holiday honoring Confederate generals

A statue of Stonewall Jackson.

A statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson in Richmond, Va. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Virginia's House of Delegates voted Thursday to eliminate a state holiday that honors two Confederate generals and replace it with Election Day instead.

Why it matters: The bill is among a slate of sweeping legislation passed by the state's General Assembly, which Democrats gained full control of last November.

  • Virginia also became the first southern state to pass a broad set of anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people earlier this week, per the Virginia Mercury.

The state of play: Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam will sign the legislation to eliminate Lee-Jackson Day, which honors Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, from the list of state holidays.

  • Democrats have argued that making Election Day a state holiday in its stead will help to increase voter access.

Go deeper: Virginia Democrats seek to remove Lee statue from U.S. Capitol

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