LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A bill that would prohibit cities from ticketing motorists who park at broken parking meters was approved by the state Senate Wednesday and now moves on to Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval.

“Taxpayers already pay for street maintenance, meter installation and meter upkeep,” according to Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, who proposed the legislation. “Local governments should take responsibility and keep parking meters in good working order, not squeeze a double-penalty out of cash-strapped citizens.”

The legislation would allow drivers to park at a broken meter for up to the maximum time normally permitted.

The issue has been hotly debated at Los Angeles City Hall. Last year, the City Council approved a policy that called for cars parked at a broken meter to be ticketed.

City transportation officials say that more modern meters, which accept credit cards in addition to coins, are harder to break and have a notification system that summons a repair crew when they malfunction.

Newly sworn-in City Councilman Mike Bonin has this week introduced a motion to rescind the policy.

If Brown signs the measure, cities across California would be barred from ticketing cars at broken meters.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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