Assembly members voted 57-2 to send Assembly Bill 2013 to the Senate. The legislation, which expands from 40,000 to 85,000 the number of low-emission vehicles that can use high-occupancy vehicle lanes, passed without any debate.
Last time the bill arrived on the Assembly floor, lawmakers were still fuming over Democratic leadership pulling a bill that would have allowed voters to overturn Proposition 209, California's ban on race-based university admissions. Asian-American lawmakers had expressed reservations about the measure, and Muratsuchi's bill stalled on the floor as Latino and African-American lawmakers declined to vote.
"I feel I was targeted because of my race," the Torrance Democrat told The Bee after the April vote. "There were members of the state Assembly that wanted to apparently send a message to the (Asian Pacific Islander) caucus. Unfortunately, they failed to recognize that I support affirmative action."
Unlike the last go-round, on Thursday the bill was supported by all Democratic Latino and African-American members who were present for the vote.
PHOTO: Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, D-Torrance is sworn-in as he holds three-year-old daughter Sophia during the first day of session at the Capitol in Sacramento on Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 . The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.