Charges that several Penn State University staff members knew about instances of child abuse but never reported it sparked lawmakers to act in Georgia.
Current law requires certain people like teachers and doctors to report suspicions of abuse.
This measure would require anyone who witnesses abuse to report it.
Opponents of the measure say they're concerned spankings and other forms of discipline could be misinterpreted.
The bill's sponsor Senator Renee Unterman of Buford says the parameters of abuse are clearly defined.
"Child abuse means physical injury or death. Physical forms of discipline may be used as long as there is no injury to the child," says Unterman.
At least a dozen other states has already adopted similar legislation. The bill now moves to the House for a vote.