California passes bills responding to city pay scandal

California lawmakers have approved more bills to rein in excessive salaries and pensions of public employees.

Three bills passed their final legislative hurdle Tuesday in the Assembly and now head to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

One bill would cap salary figures used to determine pension benefits of city and county officials.

The Assembly also advanced a bill that would require the city of Bell to refund Los Angeles County the excess property taxes it collected over the past three years. The county would then repay the taxpayers.

Residents in the city of 37,000 have been in uproar since the Los Angeles Times reported excessive pay for city executives and overcharging on property taxes.

Under a third bill, employment contracts could not be renewed automatically.

© 2010 The Associated Press.