Bill targets how NJ schools handle sex assault claims

The Assembly has passed legislation that could result in New Jersey colleges and universities facing fines up to $50,000 for not properly investigating sexual assault allegations.

Lawmakers passed the measure Monday by a 70-3 vote, with three abstentions. It would authorize the state attorney general to impose fines on institutions of higher education if they don’t adequately investigate the allegations.

Under the proposed legislation, the attorney general is tasked with determining the criteria that colleges and universities would have to meet.

The bill also calls for colleges and universities to publicly communicate their policies and procedures on reporting sexual assaults at the beginning of each academic year.

The measure now goes to the state Senate, but that chamber has not yet scheduled a hearing on the matter.

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