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State Senate To Pass Sexual Predator Bills

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Florida Capitol Complex (Source: dms.myflorida.com)

Florida Capitol Complex (Source: dms.myflorida.com)

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/AP) — One of the first measures the state Senate will approve when their legislative session gets underway is a package of bills designed to strengthen sexual predator laws.

The four bills will be voted on Tuesday. They’re designed to tighten loopholes in a law that allows the state to civilly commit the most dangerous sexual offenders once they’ve finished their prison terms.

More offenders could be reviewed if the legislation passes, including people serving jail sentences for sex crimes. Right now, only people convicted of felonies can be reviewed for commitment.

Prosecutors and victim advocates would also be part of the review process.

Another bill will also create a 50-year mandatory sentence for people who rape children, the developmentally disabled and the elderly. The mandatory minimum for raping children is now 25 years.

On Monday, the state House Judiciary Committee combined parts of seven bills to form four bills that exactly match their Senate counterparts and then approved them.  Once approved in the Senate, the bills are expected to be to sent to Gov. Rick Scott next week.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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