Felon voting rights inches forward but Senate fate uncertain
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Senate subcommittee has approved a resolution that seeks to amend the state constitution and restore voting rights to felons who complete their sentences, but it’s unclear if the measure will get through a full Senate committee in time to meet a legislative deadline this week.
The resolution is a key policy initiative by Gov. Kim Reynolds. Democrat Rob Hogg and Republican Dan Dawson signed the measure to move it out of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Tuesday.
Republican Jake Chapman, who declined, is among Senate Republicans who oppose blanket restoration. Some say murders, rapists and child molesters should never get their rights back and some insist on requiring restitution to be completely paid to victims before voting rights are restored. It’s unclear whether there are enough votes to get the resolution out of full committee this week.
The House voted 95-2 last week to approve the resolution. If it’s approved by the Senate and passed again by the Legislature in 2021 or 2022, it would go to voters.