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ha_Mark_LENO_2011.JPGThe California Legislature is sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill to change drug sentencing laws in the state.

Under Senate Bill 649, local prosecutors would have discretion to decide whether a person charged with possessing a small amount of illegal drugs should be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor.

"It gives district attorneys more authority than they have today," said Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat who wrote the bill.

The Senate passed the bill today on a concurrence vote of 23-13. It now heads to the governor for consideration.

PHOTO: Sen. Mark Leno in 2011. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.



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