Kansas Senate advances lesser penalties for juvenile sexting

? The Kansas Senate has advanced a bill that would lessen the penalties for sexting by middle and high school students in hopes that prosecutors will be willing to combat the practice.

Senators gave the measure first-round approval on a voice vote Monday, and a final vote is expected Tuesday. The House approved its own version of the legislation earlier this month.

Both bills focus on 12- to 18-year-olds accused of transmitting images of a nude child. Under existing state law, prosecutors are restricted to filing a felony charge that carried a prison sentence up to 11 years and four months and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Both measures make a first offense by someone 18 or younger a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.