New Hampshire Governor John Lynch today applauded the agreement reached by House and Senate conferees regarding the Online Child Safety Act. Lynch worked with the Attorney General and law enforcement to develop the Act, which will modernize state laws to better protect children from sexual predators who use the Internet.

"This legislation will help protect our children from the threats of the 21st century and help make the Internet a safer place for kids. I want to thank the House and the Senate conferees for coming to agreement and supporting our state's continuing efforts to protect children from the dangerous criminals who use the Internet to prey on our children," Governor Lynch said. "This bill will allow the State of New Hampshire, and parents, to better protect our most precious resource -- our children."

The legislation, which Governor Lynch developed with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, the Attorney General and New Hampshire's law enforcement community, modernizes the state's laws to better protect children from sexual predators who use the Internet. The legislation builds on the Child Protection Act passed in 2006, which is one of the country's toughest laws to protect children from sexual predators.

The bill strengthens the penalties in existing law for enticing a child over the Internet, and provides enhanced penalties for repeat offenders; it overhauls and expands existing child pornography laws to better reflect the victimization that occurs everyday when images of sexually abused children are created and distributed; and it closes a loophole so that sex offenders using web cams can be held accountable.

Senate Bill 495 is sponsored by Sens. Joe Foster, Bob Letourneau and Betsi DeVries; Reps. David Welch and William Knowles.