Texas Senate passes 2 campus sexual assault reporting bills

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has approved bills exempting victims and witnesses of sexual assaults from being punished under university code of conduct rules and making it easier to report such assaults anonymously and online.

The bills by Democratic Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin are designed to encourage reporting of sexual assaults on campus.

Both were approved 30-1 on Monday and now head to the Texas House.

One exempts victims and witnesses from punishment for school code violations like underage drinking. The other mandates placing online links to anonymously report assaults on school websites.

Watson has proposed a series of bills designed to prevent a repeat of the events at Baylor University, which was found to have mishandled reports of assault for years.

The fallout led to football coach Art Briles' firing.