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Ohio House Committee Passes Bill to Aid Ariel Castro Victims
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP/Ken Hines) -- A bill that would allow the victims of Cleveland abductor Ariel Castro to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in state money has been passed on to the Ohio House of Representatives.
The House Health and Aging Committee passed the so-called Survivor Bill by a vote of 14 to 3 on Wednesday morning.
The bill was introduced in June, a month after Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight escaped from Castro's Cleveland home after a decade or more in captivity.
The measure would provide the women with at least $25,000 annually in cash relief for each of the years they were restrained, plus tuition, fees and living expenses at an Ohio public college.
The legislation would also seek a waiver to provide lifetime federal government medical assistance for the women -- or anyone restrained or held in "involuntary servitude" for at least eight years.
Ariel Castro pleaded guilty to kidnapping the women, then repeatedly raping and beating them. He was found hanged in prison last month.
AP contributed to this report.