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Skelton: Lawmaker may finally fulfill pledge to dying wife

Assemblyman Cedillo fulfills promise to dying wife

Skelton hedThis post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Last week California lawmakers approved a bill allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses, ending a years-long quest by Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles).

That bill represented a promise Cedillo made to his dying wife a decade ago, George Skelton writes in Thursday's column.

Before his wife, Ruby Oliva, died of cancer, Cedillo said, she urged him to continue living a happy life. “Then she grabs me by the collar of my shirt and says, 'But first you have to finish passing this bill. Get that done first, OK? Promise me,' " Cedillo said.

If signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the bill (AB 2189) could allow an estimated 450,000 young illegal immigrants to drive legally if they qualify for a federal work-permit program under a new Obama administration policy.

"Watching the good-natured Cedillo over the years has provided a lesson in legislative commitment and perseverance," Skelton writes. "Legislators of both parties applauded him after his bill passed the Assembly, a rare demonstration of respect and affection."

All of Skelton's columns are here.

For the record, 3:17 p.m., Sept. 6: A previous version of this post referred to "illegal lawmakers." It should have said "illegal immigrants."

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Credit: Assemblyman Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) in the Assembly chamber Aug. 29. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press

 
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