Constitutional amendment; restoration of civil rights. (HJ627)

Introduced By

Sen. Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate

Description

Constitutional amendment (first resolution); restoration of civil rights. Authorizes the General Assembly to provide by general law for the restoration of civil rights for persons convicted of felonies who have completed service of their sentence including any period or condition of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. Currently, the Constitution provides for restoration of rights by the Governor. The proposed amendment retains the right of the Governor to restore civil rights and adds the alternative for restoration of rights pursuant to general law. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/14/2015Committee
01/14/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/14/15 15102439D
01/14/2015Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/20/2015Assigned P & E sub: Constitutional Amendments
02/10/2015Left in Privileges and Elections

Comments

ACLU-VA Voting Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports legislation to amend the Virginia Constitution to repeal the Commonwealth’s felon disenfranchisement provision. The ACLU strongly supports automatically restoring the rights of all persons convicted of felonies without being conditioned on payment of fines, fees, and restitution. Supporting proposals without conditions does not absolve individuals convicted of felonies from their duties to pay the court or victims. A vast majority of disenfranchised citizens in Virginia are not incarcerated and are tax-paying citizens with jobs and families who are involved in their communities. For the purposes of voting, financial obligations should not prohibit citizens from exercising their constitutional rights. Virginia, one of the worst states in the nation for felon disenfranchisement, has an estimated 450,000, or nearly 7.3 percent, citizens who have permanently lost their constitutional right to vote.