Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Bill would give legislature power to restore voting rights

(AP) — Voters would have the chance to decide whether the state legislature could restore voting rights to some felons under a bill that has cleared a Senate committee.

The bill would put a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall to grant state lawmakers authority to give felons back their right to vote. Right now, only the governor has the authority to restore voting rights through a limited pardon.

The state House has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights for most nonviolent felons after they completed their sentences. Republican Senate President Robert Stivers said he preferred the legislature have the authority to make that decision, rather than rewrite the constitution.


A spokeswoman for the advocacy group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth urged the Senate to pass the House bill.