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State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, celebrates with state senators on Thursday as they revived and approved legislation that would allow undocumented immigrants to receive a drivers license in California during the last day of the legislative session on Thursday September 12, 2013 in Sacramento, Calif.

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The Buzz: Assembly Republicans defeat last-minute companion bill on Sacramento arena

Published: Saturday, Sep. 14, 2013 - 12:07 am

Republicans draw the line at second Steinberg bill

In a flare of end-of-session drama, Assembly Republicans led the defeat Thursday of a last-minute, labor-inspired bill related to legislation passed earlier to hasten the building of a new arena for the Sacramento Kings.

Assembly Bill 852 surfaced late after both houses had passed Sen. Darrell Steinberg’s SB 743 to streamline construction of the new arena. It was cast as a minor cleanup bill.

Labor unions feared that businesses such as Wal-Mart and other “big-box” stores would get in on the streamlined environmental review procedures intended for the arena, Steinberg said.

AB 852 passed the Senate with little debate, but Assembly Republicans implored colleagues to reject it.

“It seems disingenuous to bring this bill when we just voted on one,” said Republican Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare.

It garnered only 26 “yes” votes in the 80-member house. Afterward, the bill’s author, Sacramento Democrat Roger Dickinson, said its defeat was not a big deal.

“The core and the substance of what we did earlier tonight is undisturbed,” he said.

Jeremy B. White and

Laurel Rosenhall

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