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Northam seeks $25M for ‘historic justice’ initiatives

FILE - In this July 31, 2017, file photo, the sun sets behind the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. In a state where Confederate monuments have stood for more than a century and have recently become a flashpoint in the national debate over racial injustice, Virginians remain about evenly divided on whether the statues should stay or go, according to a new poll. The poll conducted this month by Hampton University and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 46% support removal of Confederate statues and 42% oppose removal. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File) (Steve Helber, Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

RICHMOND, Va. – Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam has announced a proposal to spend $25 million to transform historical sites in Virginia, including the Richmond spot where a soaring statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee became a focal point of protests against racism.

Northam said at a news conference Friday that nearly $11 million of the money would be used to reconstruct Richmond’s Monument Avenue, a historical boulevard that was lined with the Lee statue and other Confederate monuments for more than a century.

His budget proposal would require the approval of the Democratic-controlled General Assembly.

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