California's legislature approved a bill on Thursday to let illegal immigrants get driver's licenses, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office said he would veto the measure.
Schwarzenegger's opposition came a day after the Republican governor, who is fighting sagging poll ratings and Democratic accusations he is too conservative, signaled he would veto a bill to allow gay marriage that was passed by the Democrat-controlled legislature, according to Reuters.
The California Senate voted 21-15 to let the state issue driver's licenses with a distinct design and color for illegal immigrants. The licenses could not be used for purposes other than driving, such as opening bank accounts.
Schwarzenegger will veto the legislation because federal lawmakers have yet to decide on security regulations for state licenses, deputy chief of staff Richard Costigan told reporters.
Supporters of the bill, which the state Assembly approved on Wednesday, say providing licenses to illegal immigrants would make roads safer by putting more trained and insured drivers behind the wheel.
Opponents argue the measure would effectively recognize illegal immigration, an issue of concern for a large number of California voters.
Sen. Gil Cedillo, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, said he had made changes from earlier proposals to tighten security and meet the anticipated federal licensing standards.