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New bill would expand hate crimes to include crimes against people with intellectual, physical disabilities

HARRISBURG — One state lawmaker wants to allow prosecutors to charge crimes committed against people with intellectual or physical disabilities as hate cr...

HARRISBURG -- One state lawmaker wants to allow prosecutors to charge crimes committed against people with intellectual or physical disabilities as hate crimes.

House Bill 1344 was introduced by state Rep. Kristine Howard. It's supported by The Arc of Pennsylvania, a group that advocates from people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

"For decades, people with disabilities were often locked away in institutions or kept out of mainstream society," said . "It created an idea that people with disabilities were less than, which is why hate crimes against people with disabilities are often minimized and called pranks or bullying, instead of referring to them what they are: hate crimes."