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Originally published Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:41 PM

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Wash. state House OKs nonparental visitation bill

The Washington state House has passed a measure to make it easier for grandparents and others with a close relationship to a child to secure visitation rights.

The Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The Washington state House has passed a measure to make it easier for grandparents and others with a close relationship to a child to secure visitation rights.

The bill passed Thursday applies to people having a substantial relationship with a child lasting at least two years or half the child's life.

It does not apply to a person who knows a child only through paid or volunteer service, such as coaching or teaching.

The main proponents of the bill are grandparents who have been cut off from their grandchildren.

Opponents said the bill is overly broad and represents an attack on parental rights.

The measure passed by a vote of 56-40, with two Republicans joining a unanimous Democratic caucus voting in favor. It heads next to the Senate.

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