CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A state House committee has approved a bill making it a crime for patients to assault health-care workers who are treating them.

The Associated Press reported the bill sets penalties of up to 12 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The bill now goes to the full House. It already cleared the Senate.

Several nurses and other health-care workers told the committee of being attacked by patients.

Republican state Rep. Norine Kasperik of Gillette, a co-sponsor of the bill, says it's not uncommon for patients to attack care-givers.

Brenda Hammock, a paramedic with American Medical Response, says the bill isn't targeted at ill patients who strike a health-care worker, but at the "mean drunk" or other patients who think they can assault the person who treats them.