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Pa. House sends child abuse bills to Senate

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Pennsylvania House of Representatives is sending the state Senate several bills aimed at improving the safety of children.

The House voted unanimously Tuesday to help set up child advocacy centers, to make judges more aware when a child has been the subject of a protection from abuse order, and to make it a separate crime to intimidate or retaliate against a witness, victim or reporter of child abuse.

Current Pennsylvania law applies only to witnesses and victims in a criminal investigation. The new law would apply in noncriminal investigations.

The proposals are in response to the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection's recommendations in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

The child advocacy centers would be funded by a $15 fee from criminal defendants.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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