Florida Senate passes bill allowing felon voting rights
By The Associated Press05/02/19, 23:51
Most Florida felons will have their voting rights restored under a bill the Senate passed to implement a constitutional amendment approved by voters.
The bill passed Thursday on a 22-17 vote and now goes back to the House.
Voters approved a constitutional amendment in November that restored voting rights for felons who have completed their sentence, unless they were convicted of murder or a felony sex offense. Democrats and Republicans have fought for weeks over what it means to complete a sentence. Republicans say court-ordered restitution, fees, fines and court costs must be paid. Democrats say those financial obligations create a hurdle that voters didn’t intend.
Republican Sen. Jeff Brandes made changes to the bill that try to help felons meet those obligations, including the ability of a judge to convert them to community service.