- Associated Press - Friday, May 15, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont lawmakers appear near agreement on a bill designed to improve the state’s child safety programs, more than a year after the alleged abuse deaths of two toddlers who had been under state supervision.

House and Senate conferees agreed on a bill designed to improve communications between courts, law enforcement and the state’s child-protection agency at about midday Friday, and the full House ratified the agreement later in the day.

The Senate is expected to as well before the Legislature’s expected adjournment for the year on Saturday.

The bill also provides new criminal penalties for an adult who know a child was being abused but did not report it. Agreement on that was reached after language was inserted to protect people who feared violence if they reported abuse.

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