RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Bob McDonnell is using his annual address to the state to make one big, last push for a lasting legislative legacy, urging lawmakers to embrace his education and transportation reforms.
He also threw in a surprise Wednesday, asking the lawmakers to approve bills that allow nonviolent felons' civil rights to be automatically restored.
McDonnell already has sketched out reforms that condition a 2 percent raise for teachers on new laws making underperforming faculty easier to fire, and his plan to replace Virginia's 17½-cents-per-gallon gasoline tax with a sales tax increase to replenish dwindling road maintenance funds.
McDonnell also asks legislators to establish a process to restore rights to vote, serve on a jury and other privileges people forfeit for felony convictions. Only the governor can restore those rights now.