Ravell Call, Deseret News
FILE - A bipartisan bill designed to improve federal child protection law sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

SALT LAKE CITY — A bipartisan bill designed to improve federal child protection law sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

The legislation would make permanent a pilot program that ensures that organizations serving children, the elderly, and individuals with disabilities have access to FBI fingerprint background checks for their employees, volunteers and coaches.

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"My hope is that this bill, which is broadly supported by youth-serving organizations and law enforcement groups, will save many lives and better protect those who cannot protect themselves," Hatch, R-Utah, said during a committee hearing.

The Child Protection Improvements Act would also cap the cost of an FBI background check under the program at the actual cost of the background check. It also clarifies that participating for-profit organizations may not pay less than the total sum of the costs of the FBI background check.

The YMCA, Girl Scouts of America, and Boys & Girls Club are among 28 organizations that signed a letter supporting the bill.