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California lawmakers give utility a reprieve amid fire cases

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers voted to give a reprieve to Pacific Gas & Electric Co., and took steps toward reducing years of secrecy surrounding police misconduct on the busy final day of the two-year legislative session.

The Assembly and Senate adjourned shortly before midnight Friday after voting to let power companies raise electric bills to cover the cost of lawsuits from last year’s deadly wildfires. It came amid fears that PG&E would otherwise face financial ruin.

Lawmakers also voted to allow the release of records when police are found to have improperly used force or discharged a firearm, committed sexual assault on the job or have been dishonest in their official duties.

The bills all go to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for consideration.