Lawmakers Unclear about What's Next for Bill to Help Clergy Sex-abuse Victims
By Liz Navratil and Angela Couloumbis
October 19, 2018
A complicated game of calculus ensued Thursday after the Senate failed during its last voting session to reach any agreement on changes that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits for decades-old damage.
Was there still a glimmer of hope or was the "window" to temporarily loosen the civil statute of limitations to allow lawsuits closed? Nobody seemed certain.
Everything screeched to a halt about 11 p.m. Wednesday as support seemed to teeter for a compromise measure championed by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson. The plan would have given some abuse victims two years in which to sue for decades-old abuse — but only to sue their abusers, not the institutions that may have ignored or covered up the crimes.
That was unacceptable to the victims and their supporters in the Senate, so neither Mr. Scarnati's plan nor the House-passed bill temporarily opening up liability to institutions such as the Catholic Church went anywhere.