After years of setbacks, Democratic lawmakers and Latino activists are on the verge of seeing immigrants who are in the country illegally granted the right to a driver's license in California.
The state Assembly approved the bill on a 55-19 vote late Thursday, hours after the Senate also voted to pass it. Gov. Jerry Brown issued a statement indicating he would sign it into law.
The Democratic governor said it will enable millions of people to get to work safely and legally. He added that he hoped it will send a message to Washington "that immigration reform is long past due."
The approval on the final day of this year's legislative session was a surprise.
The author of AB60, Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo of Watsonville, was prepared to put his legislation on hold until next year because of opposition from immigrant-right groups. They had objected to a provision that calls for the licenses to look different from regular licenses by giving them a special designation.
Several other attempts had passed the Legislature only to be vetoed by previous governors.