RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - It's the Virginia Senate's turn to consider legislation to automatically restore the civil rights of nonviolent felons who have served their sentences.
A Senate subcommittee is scheduled to take up the proposals Tuesday, a day after a House of Delegates panel rejected the idea.
Gov. Bob McDonnell used his State of the Commonwealth speech last week to push for approval of the legislation, only to be rebuffed by his fellow Republicans on the House subcommittee. Democrats have long championed automatic restoration of nonviolent felons' rights to vote, serve on a jury and hold public office. In Virginia, only the governor can restore those rights.
Changing the process requires a constitutional amendment, which the General Assembly would have to pass twice before sending to voters for approval.
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