RICHMOND – The state Senate has blessed a measure that would end Virginia’s distinction as the only state that prohibits governors from election to consecutive terms.
Also Monday, the General Assembly’s upper chamber approved a proposed constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to non-violent felons, a change supported by Gov. Bob McDonnell.
But if recent action in the House of Delegates is telling, however, those measures will soon reach the end of the line in this year’s legislative session.
Both items to amend Virginia’s Constitution cleared the Senate by comfortable margins, though similar measures have already been rejected in the House.
Each is a perennial bill that comes before the General Assembly.
Among those speaking against legislation to permit governors to seek successive four-year terms was Sen. J. Chapman “Chap” Petersen, D-Fairfax City, who said Virginia should maintain the tradition its had for centuries.
If that passes into law, Petersen said the next effort would be to make Virginia’s part-time legislature a full-time body with full-time pay, something he’s against.
Proposed state constitutional amendments must be approved by voters after they’ve twice passed the General Assembly with an election between the first and second passage.
- Julian Walker, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot