A law that would allow patrons to eat with their dogs at restaurant patios has been signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, does not mandate that restaurants allow dogs on their patios, but makes it permissible as long as health standards and local ordinances allow it. Dogs must be on a leash and cannot sit on restaurant furniture.

“With Gov. Brown’s signature, restaurants in California will see more businesses catering to their customers and the canine companions they love,” said Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, who carried the legislation, in a statement.

The bill, signed by Brown on Thursday, was supported by the California Restaurant Association, the industry’s Sacramento trade group.

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. announced on Friday that it has acquired two doctors groups in Florida.

The North Hollywood company, which supplies doctors to hospitals and nursing homes, purchased TriCounty Hospitalists in Longwood, Fla. near Orlando, and Eddin Medical Services in Daytona Beach. Financial details were not disclosed.

Together, the two groups represent an estimated 31,000 patient visits for IPC.

"We are looking forward to expanding our services in the greater Daytona and Orlando markets," said IPC President Jeffrey Taylor, in a statement.

IPC owns about 300 doctors groups and has contracts with more than 400 hospitals and 1,200 nursing homes. It employs more than 1,700 hospitalist doctors and nurses.

Shares closed down 22 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $48.72 on the Nasdaq.