Southern California breaking news and trends

CA Senate approves bill inspired by Penn State scandal

rose bowl penn state joe paterno

Photo by kslovesbooks via Flickr Creative Commons

Penn State / USC, Rose Bowl 2009

A Penn State-inspired bill that unanimously passed the Assembly in April was unanimously approved by the California state Senate on Tuesday.

Sen. Ron Calderon from District 30, says bill AB1434 "can be summed up in one word: Sandusky."

Under the proposed legislation, all employees of California colleges would be required by law to report suspected child sexual abuse. A mandatory reporter's failure to report could bring jail time and fines.

State law already requires teachers, teacher aides, doctors and others who supervise children to report abuse suspicions.

Assemblyman Mike Feuer, the bill's author, said last spring that it's not enough to depend on a person's sense of moral obligation in reporting child sex abuse. 

Calderon said the child sex abuse convictions of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky revealed the need to specifically require reporting by university employees. 

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Penn State scandal inspires new bill in California

rose bowl penn state joe paterno

Photo by kslovesbooks via Flickr Creative Commons

Penn State / USC, Rose Bowl 2009

A new bill, crafted in response to the Penn State sex abuse scandal, was unanimously passed by California lawmakers on Thursday. 

In a 69-0 vote, the Assembly approved a bill that would legally require employees of public and private higher education institutions to report suspected instances of child sexual abuse that occur on school grounds, or at a sanctioned program.

The bill's author, L.A. Democratic Assemblyman Mike Feuer, said it's not enough to depend on a person's sense of moral obligation in reporting child sex abuse. 

Under existing California law, public school teachers, aides, doctors and others are already mandated to report such claims, or face the possibility of fines and jail time.

The bill now moves to the Senate. 

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is scheduled in court on June 5.

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