SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State lawmakers ended their final session of the year after raising California's minimum wage to one of the highest in the nation, as they also addressed issues including environmental protection, immigrant driver's licenses and teacher misconduct.
The Legislature adjourned early Friday after a final rush of debates and negotiations. They aren't scheduled to return until January.
Among bills sent to Gov. Jerry Brown's desk was one increasing the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour. AB10 would boost the baseline wage from the current $8 by 2016.
Immigrants who are in the country illegally would be able to get California driver's licenses under another measure. AB60 had seemed dead for the year before it was revived in the Legislature's final hours.
While Brown has until mid-October to act, he signaled his support for both measures.
"This bill will enable millions of people to get to work safely and legally," Brown said in a statement after the driver license bill was approved late Thursday. "Hopefully, it will send a message to Washington that immigration reform is long past due."
Lawmakers also made limited changes to the landmark California Environmental Quality Act as part of a bill smoothing the way for a Sacramento Kings arena in downtown Sacramento.
Senate President Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, had pushed for broader reforms to deter lawsuits that can delay construction projects, but said he could not reach a consensus with business groups.
"There's always more work to do. That's why there's another legislative session" in 2014, said Steinberg.
They also approved a bill responding to last year's arrest of a teacher in a Los Angeles elementary school who was charged with nearly two-dozen counts of lewd conduct with students. AB375 would speed and streamline the process for dismissing teachers accused of misconduct.
Two high-profile bills died in the final hours.
SB396 would have banned ammunition magazines holding more than 10 bullets, even by those who now legally own them. However, lawmakers have sent Brown numerous other gun-control measures in response to recent mass shootings in other states.
The Assembly also lacked the two-thirds majority it would have needed to pass a bill intended to strip the Boy Scouts of America of its tax-exempt status because of the organization's refusal to allow gay troop leaders. SB323 needed the supermajority because it was a tax measure.
However, the Legislature passed a pair of bills that would reverse a court decision that left 2,500 California small-business owners with unexpected tax bills. Brown will pick between SB209 and AB1412, both of which would retroactively reinstate a tax break for small businesses on capital gains. A court ruling last year prompted the Franchise Tax Board to send tax notices totaling $120 million for the years 2008 to 2012.
They also found time to rename the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, over the governor's opposition. If ACR65 survives a legal challenge, the span would honor former Assembly Speaker and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. He was the Assembly's first black speaker and the longest-serving one in state history, presiding over the 80-member house from 1980 to 1995.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
New details are being revealed about the horrific case in Riverside County, where a couple is accused of keeping their 13 children captive.
One of San Diego's most decorated war heroes has died at the age of 98. In Tuesday's Zevely Zone, Jeff is in Poway to say farewell to a legend.
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland will arrive Monday to make Naval Base San Diego its new home port.
A man who fell off Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach and was never seen resurfacing remained missing Monday morning after a nightlong search by U.S. Coast Guard personnel, authorities said.
Hundreds of Helix High School students staged a walk- out Monday morning to protest police brutality after video emerged over the weekend on social media showing a La Mesa police officer on campus slamming a teenage girl to the ground.
Following rain and snow Friday evening and a weekend of cooler weather across San Diego County, a slight warming trend is expected to begin Monday and continue through at least the middle of the week.
A local war hero is about to be laid to rest. Retired Navy Captain James "Duffy" Hutton spent years of his service as a prisoner of war in Vietnam before he settled down here in San Diego.
Sunday marked day two of the government shutdown - and with the work week beginning Monday - thousands of employees may not go back to work.