PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona House has approved legislation allowing victims of sexual misconduct to talk to police or testify in a criminal case even if they signed a non-disclosure agreement as part of a civil settlement.
The proposal from Republican Rep. Maria Syms of Paradise Valley also bars non-disclosure agreements for public officials who use state cash to settle sexual misconduct complaints. It passed on a 59-0 vote Thursday and now goes to the Senate.
Syms says her proposal closes a "sexual predator loophole" forcing victims to remain silent as perpetrators avoid prosecution. She also says it ensures public officials can't use public funding to secretly settle harassment cases.
The action comes two weeks after GOP Rep. Don Shooter was expelled following sexual harassment allegations.
The Legislation is House Bill 2020 .