- Associated Press - Thursday, March 10, 2016

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has vetoed a bill that seeks to prevent local governments from moving Confederate and Civil War monuments.

McAuliffe said in his veto message Thursday that communities across Virginia are having “difficult and complicated” discussions about whether to remove symbols of the Confederacy. McAuliffe said he opposes taking away localities’ ability to make those decisions.

Virginia law already bars local governments from removing war monuments. The law specifically prohibits the replacement of Confederate monuments with Union ones.

But Republican Del. Charles Poindexter, the bill’s sponsor, told the Daily Press this month that a judge recently said that the law protects only monuments raised since 1998.

The issue was raised during a legal fight over the city of Danville’s removal of a Confederate flag from city-owned land.

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