HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers now agree that legal permission for police to have sex with prostitutes should end.

House and Senate members are still negotiating on the final language of a bill revoking a decades-old exemption that permits police in Hawaii, in the course of their duties, to have sex with prostitutes.

When the bill began in the House the peculiar exemption was restored after Honolulu police testified that vice officers need the exemption to prevent pimps and prostitutes from knowing the limits of police methods.

But a public backlash to restoring the exemption prompted lawmakers to revise the bill again to reflect opposition to police having the legal ability to bed prostitutes.

Honolulu police, while assuring the public that their internal policies prevent such abuse, dropped their opposition to removing the exemption.

Once the House and Senate settle on a final version of the bill and vote on it, Gov. Neil Abercrombie must sign the bill to make it law.

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