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Calif. Lawmakers Face Largest Issue

September 14, 2001

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ State lawmakers faced a mammoth task on the final day of the legislative session as they tackle a rescue plan for Southern California Edison and hundreds of bills to complete by a midnight deadline.

The terrorist attacks on Tuesday forced lawmakers to skip a full day of proceedings, creating an even busier final day that could possibly drag into Saturday.

During a marathon session Thursday and early Friday, lawmakers redrew their own district lines, approved twin handgun license bills and a measure allowing in-state college tuition for certain immigrants.

Lawmakers still have to consider another version of Gov. Gray Davis’ plan to rescue Southern California Edison from bankruptcy. The latest plan would let the utility issue $2.5 billion in bonds, leaving the company with $1.4 billion in debt.

Without a rescue, ``we have every indication from Edison that they’ll file for bankruptcy,″ said Steve Maviglio, the spokesman for Davis.

The cash-strapped utility and Pacific Gas and Electric say they’ve lost nearly $14 billion since June 2000 to high wholesale prices the state’s electricity deregulation law bars them from passing on to consumers. PG&E filed for federal bankruptcy protection April 6.

Another top priority of the Legislature was redrawing district lines to reflect population changes reported in Census 2000.

The Assembly and Senate approved district plans for themselves and Congress, sending them to Davis for his approval.

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On the Net:

Senate: http://www.sen.ca.gov

Assembly: http://www.assembly.ca.gov

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