BUCKS COUNTY, PA — Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10) this week joined his Democratic colleagues in the State Senate to call on Senate Republican leadership to bring justice for victims of childhood sexual abuse, by passing legislation to open a two-year window for victims to bring claims on assaults that have expired the statute of limitations.
He issued the following statement:
“The time has come at long last to open wide the door to justice for the victims of childhood sexual abuse. The State Senate can do just that right now by passing either HB 1 or HB 2. House Bill 1 would amend the State Constitution to allow for the two-year look back for claims that are presently time barred. House Bill 2 would do the same thing as a simple statutory enactment. While we believe that a new statute would withstand a constitutional challenge and represents a much faster path to justice, we support amending the constitution if that is what the Republican majority continues to insist on. But we need to do it now.”
“Senate Republicans passed the language amending the constitution in January but coupled it with two unrelated proposed amendments: one allowing voter ID that was so poorly drafted that even its authors could not explain it, and the other permitting the legislature to override executive-branch regulations. Victims should not be held hostage to Senate Republicans’ political agenda on those issues. They have nothing to do with granting victims access to the courts.”
“The time for debate has long passed. Let’s get these bills passed.”
On Friday, February 24th, the House of Representatives passed the constitutional amendment, House Bill 1, by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 161Y-40N. Afterwards, they passed House Bill 2, the statutory change, by a vote of 134Y-67N, in a similarly bipartisan vote.
Watch the full Senate Democratic Caucus’ press conference here.
View the text of House Bill 1 here.
View the text of House Bill 2 here.
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