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California passes campus sexual assault bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — State lawmakers have passed a bill that would make California the first state to define when ‘‘yes means yes’’ while investigating sexual assaults on college campuses.

The Senate unanimously passed SB967 on Thursday as states and universities across the US are under pressure to change how they handle rape allegations. The bill now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.

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Democratic Sen. Kevin de Leon of Los Angeles says his bill would begin a paradigm shift in how California campuses prevent and investigate sexual assault.

Rather than using the refrain ‘‘no means no,’’ the definition of consent under the bill requires ‘‘an affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision’’ by each party to engage in sexual activity.

It applies to all colleges and universities accepting state financial aid.

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