Legislation to restore voting rights to convicted felons except murderers and felony sex offenders has passed the Florida House.
The Republican-dominated House voted 71-45 Wednesday for the bill that would implement a constitutional amendment approved by voters last November. The main issue is whether legislation is needed at all, and whether the bill sets up unnecessary hurdles for ex-felons such as requiring that all fines and restitution be paid.
Republican Rep. Jamie Grant of Tampa, the main sponsor, said completion of a sentence includes probation and any financial obligations ordered by a judge. Opponents said those requirements would bar many former felons and violate the spirit of the constitutional amendment.
The bill now goes to the Senate where a similar measure is pending.