SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The California legislature has passed a bill that establishes a tiered system of late fees on credit card accounts.

The Senate passed the measure on a 29-to-2 vote Friday. Since it passed the state Assembly on Aug. 23 by 71 to 3, it now goes to Gov. Pete Wilson for his signature.

Among other things, the bill allows California-based card issuers to charge from $7 to $15, depending on how long a payment is overdue. California banks complained that the current limit of $5.75 left them at a disadvantage against out-of-state competitors that can charge $15 or more.

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