- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The state Senate has approved legislation that would allow another 15,000 fuel-efficient vehicles to use California’s carpool lanes, even when they have only one occupant.

AB2013 by Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi of Torrance expands the number of “green HOV” permits to 70,000 from the current 55,000.

The stickers generally apply to hybrid plug-in vehicles such as the Toyota Prius, Chevrolet Volt and Cadillac ELR.

The legislation passed the Senate on a 25-6 vote Tuesday, but Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine says it was a giveaway to wealthy people who can afford expensive vehicles.

Kelly Blue Book, for example, lists the base price of the Cadillac ELR as nearly $73,000.

Anderson says the special permit is an insult to average taxpayers. The legislation now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.

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