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Calif. Assembly passes prison bill

September 1, 2009 5:37:28 AM PDT
A bill to reduce California's prison budget by $1 billion was approved by the State Assembly and is now headed back to the State Senate.The Assembly voted 41 to 35, which is the bare majority needed in the 80-member Assembly.

In order to get the necessary votes, Assembly leaders deleted a controversial section calling for the early release of elderly and ill inmates, along with a proposal to reduce certain property crimes to misdemeanors.

Republican lawmakers still say the measure is a threat to public safety.

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