DES MOINES – A bill that would allow Iowa felons who have served their time to be able to vote failed to make it through a Senate committee on Thursday.
The bill had already cleared one hurdle at the statehouse: it passed the full House on a 95-2 vote. Democrats on the Senate side aren’t happy that Republicans killed the legislation.
“It is shameful that Senator Brad Zaun and other Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee killed this priority legislation for the 2019 session,” said Sen. Janet Petersen (D-Des Moines). “We agreed with the Governor when she said the bipartisan vote in the Iowa House was ‘a victory for Iowans who deserve a second chance.’
Democrats said they will be working to move this bill forward next year. In the meantime, they want Gov. Kim Reynolds to issue an executive order to restore felon voting rights.
“I am disappointed in today’s setback, but I will not give up the fight for Iowans who deserve a second chance,” said Reynolds in a statement to the media. “It’s encouraging to have a strong coalition of supporters backing our proposed constitutional amendment. There’s more work to do, but I am committed to getting this done.”