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Nevada Bill Creating Anti-Bullying Program Passes 1st Hurdle

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — A Senate committee has passed a bill backed by Gov. Brian Sandoval that would implement a broad anti-bullying program throughout Nevada's school system.

Lawmakers voted 6-1 on Tuesday to pass SB504, which would create an Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment within the Nevada Department of Education. Republican Sen. Don Gustavson opposed it.

Sandoval has proposed allocating $36 million over the next two years to hire one school social worker for every 250 students. SB504 deals with the policy portion of the plan, while the funding portion will be considered separately in a money committee.

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SB504 would strengthen reporting requirements for bullying incidents, and create a 24-hour hotline and a website for submitting complaints.

Parents of bullying victims gave tearful testimony last week in support of the bill.