The measure imposes penalties as serious as fifth-degree felonies for assault of an on-duty nurse, health care professional or hospital security officer. It cleared the Senate unanimously Tuesday.
Ohio law provides for tougher penalties for assaults in certain circumstances, including attacks against workers at correctional facilities and people providing emergency medical services. However, those who assaulted nurses and other health care workers had not previously faced the stiffer punishments.
Through a last-minute amendment, judges and certain other court personnel also were added to the list, sending the bill back to the House.
Nurse assault has been a growing problem, both in Ohio and nationally.