Pennsylvania update


#1

This is from a newsfeed from a website called “Capitolwire.com” that reports on political news for Pennsylvania–

When a state grand jury issued its report about sex abuse within the Catholic Church earlier this month, several lawmakers issued statements about the need to hold the perpetrators, and even the institutions for which they work, accountable. Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, at that time – like many of his General Assembly leadership counterparts - indicated his outrage at the acts committed by members of the clergy, and then noted the Senate last year passed legislation to address several shortcomings in current law regarding the statute of limitations regarding sex abuse.

On Wednesday, Scarnati issued a second statement (he calls it an update), lengthier than the first one, getting into more detail why he thinks the legislation should be passed, as is, by the state House of Representatives (the leadership of which has indicated the bill will get consideration during the Legislature’s truncated fall session). His arguments about the constitutionality of a change being pushed by some lawmakers – to allow a retroactive component for some victims whose window to seek legal redress has already closed – are not new. However, he did urge the Catholic Church to create a victims fund, something that hasn’t been the topic of much discussion.

“The church needs to establish a victim compensation fund this year, to make restitutions to its victims," said Scarnati. “Monies should also be utilized to prevent abuse from happening in the future. Funds have been established in other states in times of extraordinary circumstances in order to compensate individuals who have suffered.”

“The victim support fund should be administered by a neutral third party to ensure fairness and objectivity,” he continued. “The victims of child sexual abuse have endured the unimaginable. The emotional scars that they are left with may never heal. While financial support cannot change the past, it has the potential to aid victims as they attempt to move forward.”


#2

I’ll add that there are only ten or 11 days left in the legislative calendar this year, and anything that doesn’t get passed will have to be reintroduced from the very beginning in January 2019.

I think it is unlikely that there will be any changes to Pennsylvania law for a long time.


#3

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