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Calif. Assembly Approves Scaled-Down Prison Plan

The California Assembly has approved a bill seeking to reduce the state corrections budget as Republican lawmakers assailed it as a threat to public safety.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass removed the most controversial provisions from a bill that was passed previously in the Senate. Law enforcement organizations had objected to the early release of ill inmates or some of those age 60 or older, as well as a proposal to reduce certain property crimes from felonies to misdemeanors.

The revised measure passed on a 41-35 vote Monday, the bare majority needed in the 80-member house.

The legislation's fate in the Senate was unclear. Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says he will not allow a vote on the Assembly bill unless it includes some of the provisions from the earlier bill.

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