Pennsylvania House of Representatives approves 3 child abuse bills

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Three bills that address how child abuse investigations are handled are closer to becoming law following favorable votes in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The House voted overwhelmingly on Thursday in favor of the three proposals, part of the legislation being considered in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

One would establish procedures to report child abuse online or by email and require those who must report suspected abuse to inform their supervisor and call the ChildLine hotline.

Another would require approval of "indicated" child abuse determinations by county child protective services administrators and the agency's lawyer.

The third broadens how school personnel must handle abuse cases.

"As a member of the Children and Youth Committee, I am very proud of the fact that the House has taken the lead in addressing the many problems with our child safety statutes that became apparent when the Sandusky case went to trial, said Pa. Rep. David Malone, R-Berks Co. "We need to fix the gaps in our laws that leave our children vulnerable to the predators which, sadly, continue to exist in our society."

The bills were sent to the state Senate.

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