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Crime & Justice

Penn State scandal inspires new bill in California

Penn State / USC, Rose Bowl 2009
Penn State / USC, Rose Bowl 2009
Photo by kslovesbooks via Flickr Creative Commons

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.