The state Assembly will return Monday after adjourning late Thursday night without acting on a controversial bill passed earlier by the Senate to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in spending on state prisons.

Legislative leaders are preparing a competing proposal to bring up for a vote early next week.

The plan approved by the Senate, which was championed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, would reduce the time lower-level inmates spend behind bars and on parole. It stalled as a host of Assembly members vying for higher office refused to vote in a way that could portray them as soft on crime.

Points of contention included provisions for some inmates to finish serving their time in home detention and the changing of some felony crimes to misdemeanors. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) adjourned the session shortly before midnight.

-- Michael Rothfeld

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