New Hampshire Governor John Lynch today thanked the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for continuing to work with him to protect children from sexual predators by supporting the Online Child Safety Act.

"We must make sure we have the laws we need to protect our children from the threats of the 21st century and that is what this legislation does," Governor Lynch said. "I want to thank the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for supporting the state's continuing efforts to protect children from these dangerous criminals."

The legislation, 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.