The state House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill to define child abuse in Pennsylvania, a centerpiece of a package of bills aimed at protecting children in the state.
The definitions bill passed by a vote of 191-to-6 Monday and was sent along with two related measured to the Senate for consideration.
The legislation broadens the definition of abuse to encourage more reporting of abusive behavior. The definition includes types of harm, such as bodily injury, sexual abuse or serious physical neglect. It also specifies violent acts that constitute abuse and provides exceptions for parents or guardians using reasonable force to control or discipline a child.
The other bills involve clearance requirements for people who work with children and identifying adults who are required to report abuse.