NC lawmakers approve bill targeting group-home abuse

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The General Assembly has agreed to put new rules in place targeting people who harm group-home residents and increasing responsibilities on those who work at the homes to report abuse they see.

The Senate agreed Thursday to its measure after the House made a small change. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.

The measure increases the severity of the misdemeanor against someone found to have knowingly injured or caused pain to residents, who often have disabilities or mental illness. New or more severe misdemeanors also are proposed for home employees or volunteers who witness abuse or are aware of harm caused but don’t tell authorities.

Parents of a group-home resident lobbied for changes after allegations surfaced that their son was sexually abused but workers didn’t report it.

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