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Penn State scandal spurring changes in Washington

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The Associated Press
Joe Paterno was fired for a scandal state lawmakers hope to avoid here.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The sex abuse scandal at Penn State University is spurring changes in Washington state.

Washington senators voted unanimously Tuesday to advance a plan that requires officials at higher education institutions to report suspected child abuse to authorities or to state's social services agency.

The Penn State case led to the firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno, who had passed along information about suspected abuse to superiors but never notified police.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles says the law changes will go a long way to help ensure the safety of children.

The House has separately passed a bill requiring all adults to report severe abuse.

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