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WEST PALM BEACH (AP) — A bill on its way to Governor Rick Scott’s desk for his signature cracks down on teachers and other school employees who commit sexual misconduct against students.

On Wednesday, the state’s Senate approve the measure (HB 485) by a vote of 36-0.

It will increase penalties for people who take advantage of students sexually. As an example, crimes that are now second-degree misdemeanors would be prosecuted as first-degree misdemeanors.

“Any authority figure who violates this very important public trust should receive a higher penalty for their crimes,” .Senate sponsor Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said in a prepared statement after the vote.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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