Pa. House panel advances child abuse law changes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Several changes to Pennsylvania laws that deal with child abuse are moving in the state Legislature following favorable committee votes.

The House Children and Youth Committee on Tuesday approved six bills, including a new definition of child abuse that would expand prosecutors’ ability to file charges.

The committee is also sending to the House floor new oversight standards for child abuse investigations by county officials, changes to background clearance requirements for those who work with children and an expanded list of those mandated to report suspected child abuse.

A Senate committee approved a bill to require school employees to alert police and the ChildLine hotline, not simply their superiors.

Lawmakers are revising child abuse laws in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky and clergy sex abuse scandals.

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