RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A proposed constitutional amendment that would allow for the civil rights of nonviolent felons to be restored by law rather than solely by gubernatorial fiat has won Senate passage.
The resolution by Sen. Louise Lucas passed on a 30-10 Senate vote, but now heads to the House of Delegates and its likely demise.
Similar House bills offered by both Democrats and Republicans - including one that Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell championed in his State of the Commonwealth speech - have died in a GOP-ruled House subcommittee.
To be incorporated in Virginia's Constitution, the same measure must pass both chambers of the General Assembly unchanged in two years separated by a legislative election and then be ratified by Virginia voters in an election.
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