Pa. House members work together to salvage bill that gives victims more time to sue

Written by on February 5, 2021

Pa. House members work together to salvage bill that gives victims more time to sue

By Sam Dunklau / WITF

February 5, 2021

Representatives Jim Gregory and Mark Rozzi speak to reporters after the successful passage of their bills from the House Judiciary Committee. Katie Meyer / WITF

A proposal to give childhood sexual abuse survivors in Pennsylvania more time to sue is getting another chance in the state legislature as House leaders have agreed to a plan to get it before voters this May.

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The measure would have amended the Commonwealth’s Constitution, but its years-long approval process was set to restart when the PA Department of State revealed it failed to advertise the amendment last year.

But GOP House Leader and 20-20 electoral college vote objector Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (Centre/Mifflin counties) and Democratic Leader Rep. Joanna McClinton (Delaware/Philadelphia counties) say they’ll now try to push it through as an emergency amendment, which only needs a two-thirds vote in both chambers to come before voters.

Rep. Jim Gregory (R-Blair County), who sponsored the bill, says it’s one of the only ways to get it back on track.

“We are trying to fix that mistake by someone else, and in doing so we’re trying to make sure that we don’t make any mistakes and that we do it right,” Gregory says.

Rep. Mark Rozzi (D-Berks County) says he’s glad the process can move forward.

“It’s just another way for us to put pressure on the Assembly, both the House and Senate, to move something forward, to get something done, since this colossal disappointment by the Secretary of State,” Rozzi says.

As long as legislators approve the amendment by mid-April, voters could decide its fate during the May primary.

The Secretary of State would then have to advertise it in two newspapers in each county.

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