Commonwealth of VARICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Gov. Bob McDonnell used his annual address to the state Wednesday night to make one big, last push for a lasting legislative legacy, urging lawmakers to embrace his education and transportation reforms. But he also included a surprise: an appeal to the 2013 General Assembly to approve bills that allow for nonviolent felons’ civil rights to be automatically restored.

On Tuesday, he disclosed his plan to replace Virginia’s 17.5 cents per gallon gasoline tax with a 0.8 cent increase in the state’s 5 percent sales tax as a way to replenish dwindling highway maintenance funds.

Entering the final year of the non-renewable four-year term Virginia governors are uniquely allowed, McDonnell — a year ago a Republican vice presidential prospect — is still looking for a signature policy triumph for which he will be remembered.


Click here to read the governor’s entire State of the Commonwealth Address.