Legislation that would restore voting rights to convicted felons except murderers and felony sex offenders is another step closer to passage in the Florida House.
Lawmakers debated a measure into the night Tuesday that would implement a constitutional amendment approved by voters last November. The main issue is whether legislation is needed at all, and whether the House 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 any period of 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.
A final House vote could come as early as Wednesday.