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Virginia lawmaker to propose bill to change Lee-Jackson Day

Virginia lawmaker to propose bill to change Lee-Jackson Day
Posted at 12:15 AM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 01:55:51-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Virginia lawmaker is proposing a change to Lee-Jackson Day, a holiday that most state workers get off, which is Friday. Lee-Jackson Day is the Virginia holiday to remember two of the Civil War's Confederate leaders, Robert E Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

Virginia Senator Donald McEachin says the commonwealth would be better served by recognizing the two Virginians in January, but moving the actual holiday to Election Day.

He says that would allow everyone a chance to get to the polls.

"I think we need to improve voter turnout,” said McEachin. “I think Election Day is a day that brings all the citizens of the Commonwealth together regardless of their partisan affiliation, or lack of a partisan affiliation."

Donald McEachin

Donald McEachin

A member of the Virginia Flaggers says state workers count on the holiday and Virginians should recognize what the two generals did for Virginia.

"They were Americans,” said Barry Isenhour. “You could look at them individually and just astounded at their accomplishments, not just in the military, but what they did in the homeland, with the cities."

McEachin said he will file his bill on Friday, Lee-Jackson Day.

A spokesman for the Governor Terry McAuliffe sent CBS 6 a statement that read in part:

"The legal authority to change state holidays belongs to the General Assembly."

“If the General Assembly were to pass a bill repealing or renaming the holiday the governor would sign it."