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Virginia Senate votes to eliminate Lee-Jackson Day, make Election Day state holiday

Virginia Senate votes to eliminate Lee-Jackson Day, make Election Day state holiday
Posted at 2:44 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-21 14:46:42-05

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Senate passed a bill that would eliminate Lee-Jackson Day as a state holiday in favor of making Election Day a state holiday.

Celebrated on the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day each January, Lee-Jackson Day honors Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

SB 601, introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas, passed the Senate with a vote 22-18. It will now go to the House where Del. Joe Lindsey introduced a similar bill.

Both bills would designate Election Day, the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, as a state holiday and remove Lee-Jackson Day as a state holiday.

Governor Ralph Northam announced his support for the legislation earlier this month.

“I don’t think there’s any secret that it’s in honor of two individuals who fought to prolong slavery which is not a proud aspect of Virginia’s history,” said Northam, who said turning Election Day into a state holiday would improve voting access to Virginians.