Pa. House passes new version of child sex abuse legislation

Tony Romeo
April 10, 2019 - 5:20 pm
State Rep. Mark Rozzi

Lucas Vilca/ork Daily Record

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Once again, the ball is in the state Senate’s court, after legislation intended to give victims of child sexual abuse a new opportunity to seek justice has again cleared the House. 

This time, lawmakers are taking a different approach. 

For years, child sex abuse victims have sought a change that would retroactively allow for lawsuits to be filed by victims for whom the statute of limitations has expired. They have tried to do it by changing the law, only to be thwarted by the state Senate over concerns that it would run afoul of the state Constitution. 

Now, just days after clearing the House Judiciary Committee, the full state House has overwhelmingly passed and sent the Senate legislation that would open a two-year window of retroactivity for lawsuits through the lengthier process of amending the state Constitution. 

Related: Lawmakers change course on legislation for child sex abuse victims

Just before the House vote, Democratic state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a longtime champion of the issue, addressed the change of strategy.

“History will repeat itself and nothing will be done for past victims unless we deal with this head on,” he said.

Rozzi said the legislation is the result of bipartisan talks with House and Senate leadership. 

A spokeswoman said only that the Senate majority leadership looks forward to reviewing the legislation received from the House.