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FYI: In a whirlwind of activity during its special session yesterday, the state Senate passed its version of a bill reauthorizing the law governing power plant construction, setting up a fight over the issue with the Assembly next year. The Senate bill, passed on a party-line vote, didn't include the stiffer environmental reviews and provisions for greater community involvement that environmental-justice advocates had asked for and many of which are in the Assembly version. Advocates have charged that low-income and largely black and Latino communities are disproportionately chosen as sites for new plants. The Senate also passed the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act, 31 years after its initial introduction, by a convincing 34 to 26 vote. Many LGBT activists opposed the final version of the bill because it did not include protection for transgender people. [12/18/02]

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