BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A measure that would allow victims of domestic abuse to move out of their homes without penalty for violating a lease has received approval from a Senate committee.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, a Baton Rouge Democrat, would also bar landlords from evicting abuse victims for calling the police to their home.

Advocates say the bill is needed because abused women have been evicted after police visits stemming from domestic violence. They also say women fleeing domestic violence often find themselves impoverished and homeless.

But business and property rental groups say the bill unfairly punishes them. One reason cited is because the bill would allow renters to seek punitive damages if a property dispute winds up in court.

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